• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

American Government and Politics is a completely new introductory textbook designed and written for all students of politics coming to the subject for the first time. It provides a lively and accessible introduction and guide to all the main features and characteristics of one of the most distinctive and complex contemporary political systems in the world. From the impeachment of Bill Clinton, to the controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election, and the Bush administration's responses to September 11, students will gain a balanced and critical understanding of all the key issues and debates in contemporary American government and politics today.


If one constant critical observation can be relied on in most assessments of government and politics in the United States, it is that the system is in flux. Pressures for political change, the complex constellation of personnel and groups within and outside American government institutions, and the activism of millions of citizens combine with a constant election cycle to produce a democratic regime that rarely seems settled for long. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, in particular, the sense that a new era had been entered – not only in American foreign policy but also in domestic politics – was one that animated many observers of the United States.

But what is perhaps most striking is less the change that the tragedy ushered into ...

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