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Principles and Practice of American Politics

Principles and Practice of American Politics
Classic and Contemporary Readings

Sixth Edition
Edited by:
Additional resources:

February 2015 | 480 pages | CQ Press
Combining timeless readings with cutting-edge, current selections, authors Samuel Kernell and Steven S. Smith bring judicious editing and important context for students learning the ropes of American government. This collection effectively examines the strategic behavior of key players in U.S. politics, showing that although they are motivated by their own interests, political actors are influenced by the strategies of others, and are governed by the Constitution, the law, and institutional rules.

The Sixth Edition features 11 new readings, including 6 pieces written specifically for this volume. True to form, each and every selection is artfully framed by Kernell and Smith’s headnotes, providing students with a valuable introduction to the topic.
Chapter 1. Designing Institutions
Mancur Olson, Jr.
from The Logic of Collective Action
Garrett Hardin
The Tragedy of the Commons
Chapter 2. The Constitutional Framework
Anti-Federalist No. 3
James Madison
Federalist No. 10
James Madison
Federalist No. 51
Samuel Kernell
from Reassessing James Madison's Political Science
Chapter 3. Federalism
Donald F. Kettl
Federalism: Sorting Out Who Does What
Jonathan Rauch
A Separate Peace
Thad Kousser
How America’s ‘Devolution Revolution’ Reshaped its Federalism
Chapter 4. Civil Rights
Supreme Court of the United States
Schuette v. Bamn
Justin Levitt
from “New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot?”
Chapter 5. Civil Liberties
Cass Sunstein
from Republic 2.0
Supreme Court of the United States
Roe v. Wade
Gerald N. Rosenberg
The Real World of Constitutional Rights: The Supreme Court and The Implementation of the Abortion Decisions
Chapter 6. Congress
Steven S. Smith
Congress, The Troubled Institution
Sarah A. Binder
The Politics of Legislative Stalemate
John H. Aldrich and David W. Rohde
Congressional Committees in a Continuing Partisan Era
Chapter 7. The Presidency
Richard E. Neustadt
from Presidential Power and Modern Presidents
David E. Lewis
from The Politics of Presidential Appointments
Samuel Kernell
from Going Public
Chapter 8. The Bureaucracy
Terry M. Moe
The Politics of Bureaucratic Structure
Chapter 9. The Judiciary
Antonin Scalia
from A Matter of Interpretation
Stephen Breyer
from Active Liberty
Alexander Hamilton
Federalist No. 78
Robert A. Carp and Kenneth L. Manning
Selecting Justice: The Ideology of Federal Judges Appointed by President Barack Obama
Chapter 10. Public Opinion
Herbert Asher
Analyzing and Interpreting Polls
John Zaller and Stanley Feldman
A Simple Theory of the Survey Response: Answering Questions versus Revealing Preferences
Morris P. Fiorina
from Culture War? The Myth of Polarized America
Alan Abramowitz
The Polarized Electorate
Chapter 11. Voting, Campaigns, and Elections
Samuel L. Popkin
from The Reasoning Voter
Gary C. Jacobson
No Compromise: The Electoral Origins of Legislative Gridlock
Michael Schudson
America's Ignorant Voters
Lynn Vavreck
Want a Better Forecast? Measure the Campaign, Not Just the Economy
Chapter 12. Political Parties
John Aldrich
from Why Parties?
Larry M. Bartels
Partisanship and Voting Behavior, 1952-1996
Morris P. Fiorina
Parties as a Problem Solver
Chapter 13. Interest Groups
E.E. Schattschneider
The Scope and Bias of the Pressure System
Richard L. Hall and Richard Anderson
Issue Advertising and Legislative Advocacy in Health Politics
Jennifer Nicoll Victor
Gridlock Lobbying: Breaking, Creating, and Maintaining Legislative Stalemate
Chapter 14. News Media
James T. Hamilton
The Market and the Media
Shanto Iyengar and Kyu S. Hahn
Red Media, Blue Media: Evidence of Ideological Selectivity in Media Use


Instructor Resource Site

Password-protected INSTRUCTOR RESOURCES you’ll actually use!
Save time and ease class preparation with the additional guidance and tools, including:

Test banks that provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding

Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course

Every graphic from the book is available for use while lecturing, in discussion groups, or for importing into test materials.

“I love Kernell and Smith. It helps me to connect the things that political scientists have to say about politics with what students think they know about politics.”

Marc Hetherington
Vanderbilt University

“The best thing about Principles and Practice is that it provides key excerpts from some of the most important political science articles in American politics. A ten-page reading is much more productive for students than the entire article, especially for undergrads.”

Aaron King, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Aaron King, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

“I use Principles and Practice as a reader to stimulate discussion and encourage students to wrestle with some of the fundamental debates about how the political process works. I also like to use it as a way to introduce students to empirical approaches to answering questions about American government.”

David Doherty
Loyola University

“I am pleased with Principles and Practice in American Politics, and my students are as well. It has lots of different options per topic and does a good job of blending contemporary pieces with classics.”

Logan Dancey
Wesleyan University

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Samuel H. Kernell

Samuel Kernell is professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, where he has taught since 1977. Previously, he taught at the University of Mississippi and the University of Minnesota. Kernell’s research interests focus on the presidency and American political history. His previous books include Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership, 3rd edition; an edited collection of essays, James Madison: The Theory and Practice of Republican Government; and, with Gary C. Jacobson, The Logic of American Politics, 7th edition, and Strategy and Choice in Congressional Elections, 2nd... More About Author

Steven Stanley Smith

Steven S. Smith is professor of political science and director of the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis. He has taught at the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, and George Washington University and has served as a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. His research interests include American politics, congressional politics, Russian politics, positive theories of politics, and theories of institutional development. He is author or coauthor of Politics or Principle: Filibustering in the United States (1997), Committees in Congress, 3rd edition (1997), The American Congress (2005), Call to Order:... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781483319872