The American political system is complex and dynamic. In recent
years, political upheaval, social change and economic decline have
exerted such stresses and stains that the functioning of the system
and the performance of institutions have increasingly been
questioned. American politics have not only become more intractable
for politicians, but the new complexities have made the task of
students seeking to understand and explain the workings of the
system much more difficult. "Explaining American Politics" aims to
unravel these complexities and difficulties by helping students to
confront and comprehend the major issues in contemporary American
government. The contributors have used their specialist knowledge
to develop authoritative interpretations of such key issues as; the
impact of conservatism and its political consequences; changing
perceptions of the Presidency and the problem of legislative
leadership; the alleged and continuing irresponsibility of
Congress; the chronic weaknesses and manifest failures of
bureaucracy; the apparently inexorable activism of the Supreme
Court; the ostensible decline of political parties; and the much
anticipated prospect of electoral realignme
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