Navigating Public Opinion: Polls, Policy, and the Future of American Democracy

Paperback | August 15, 2002

EditorJeff Manza, Fay Lomax Cook, Benjamin I. Page

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Do politicians listen to the public? How often and when? Or are the views of the public manipulated or used strategically by political and economic elites? Navigating Public Opinion brings together leading scholars of American politics to assess and debate these questions. It describes how therelationship between opinion and policy has changed over time; how key political actors use public opinion to formulate domestic and foreign policy; and how new measurement techniques might improve our understanding of public opinion in contemporary polling and survey research. The distinguished contributors shed new light on several long-standing controversies over policy responsiveness to public opinion. Featuring a new analysis by Robert Erikson, Michael MacKuen, and James Stimson that builds from their pathbreaking work on how public mood moves policy in amacro-model of policymaking, the volume also includes several critiques of this model by Lawrence Jacobs and Robert Shapiro, another critique by G. William Domhoff, and a rejoinder by Erikson and his coauthors. Other highlights include discussions of how political elites, including state-levelpolicymakers, presidents, and makers of foreign policy, use (or shape) public opinion; and analyses of new methods for measuring public opinion such as survey-based experiments, probabilistic polling methods, non-survey-based measures of public opinion, and the potential and limitations of Internetpolls and surveys. Introductory and concluding essays provide useful background context and offer an authoritative summary of what is known about how public opinion influences public policy. A must-have for all students of American politics, public opinion, and polling, this state-of-the-art collection addresses issues that lie at the heart of democratic governance today.

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Do politicians listen to the public? How often and when? Or are the views of the public manipulated or used strategically by political and economic elites? Navigating Public Opinion brings together leading scholars of American politics to assess and debate these questions. It describes how therelationship between opinion and policy has...

Jeff Manza is Associate Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute of Policy Research at Northwestern University. He is the coauthor of Social Cleavages and Political Change: Voter Alignments and U.S. Party Coalitions (OUP) and Locking Up the Vote: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy (forthcoming from OU...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:392 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.91 inPublished:August 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195149343

ISBN - 13:9780195149340

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"A valuable synthesis of the many strands of research focused on the social mechanisms that connect public opinion and public policy . The breadth and quality of chapters compiled in Navigating Public Opinion is likely to earn the volume a familiar place on the public opinion researcher'sshelf."-- Public Opinion Quarterly