This one-volume reference presents the major conceptual approaches to the study of U.S. political parties and the national party system, describing the organization and behavior of U.S. political parties in thematic, narrative chapters that help undergraduate students better understand party origins, historical development, and current operations. Further, it provides researchers with in-depth analysis of important subtopics and connections to other aspects of politics.

Key Features: Thematic, narrative chapters, organized into six major parts, provide the context, as well as in-depth analysis of the unique system of party politics in the United States.; Top analysts of party politics provide insightful chapters that explore how and why the U.S. parties have changed over time, including major organizational transformations by the parties, behavioral changes among candidates and party activists, and attitudinal changes among their partisans in the electorate.; The authors discuss the way the traditional concept of formal party organizations gave way over time to a candidate-centered model, fueled in part by changes in campaign finance, the rise of new communication technologies, and fragmentation of the electorate.

This book is an ideal reference for students and researchers who want to develop a deeper understanding of the current challenges faced by citizens of republican government in the United States.



Marjorie RandonHershey and Edward M.Burmila

It isn't easy to start a democracy. It can be even more difficult to maintain one. For most of recorded history, societies were governed by rulers whose power was not limited by ordinary citizens. These rulers made the decisions as to what government should do and whose interests it should serve. The notion of letting “common people” have a voice in their own governance must have seemed not only strange but threatening. After all, those common people might try to avenge centuries of mistreatment by taking the goods and even the lives of those who had ruled them. Many of the Founders of the American republic warned that a government reflecting the influence of public opinion would be unstable, driven ...

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