Understanding American Politics And Government, 2012 Election Edition

Paperback | December 21, 2012

byJohn J. Coleman, Kenneth M. Goldstein, William G. Howell

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Solve real-world puzzles like a political scientist

 

Understanding American Politics and Government, 2012 Election Edition introduces students to the basic tools used by political scientists.  It guides students through the fundamentals of government and helps them see why events really happen in politics. Consistently showing the difference between “causation” and “correlation,” this text presents American government as a field full of interesting questions and puzzles that all citizens must explore.  The book draws heavily on real-world politics to help students think more critically about their political beliefs and actions.

 

This text features full integration with the New MyPoliSciLab.  MyPoliSciLab includes a wide array of resources to encourage students to look at American politics like a political scientist and analyze current political issues.  Political Explorer lets students play the role of a political scientist by investigating issues through interactive data.  Core Concept videos discuss the big ideas in each chapter and apply them to key political issues. Simulations allow students to experience how political leaders make decisions.

 

A better teaching and learning experience

This program provides a better teaching and learning experience–for you and your students. Here’s how:

  • Personalize Learning–The New MyPoliSciLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals. MyPoliSciLab is now compatible with BlackBoard!
  • Engage Students–The stunning visual design engages students in the text.  
  • Improve Critical Thinking– Learning objectives in every chapter help students focus on important topics.
  • Analyze Current Events–Coverage of the 2012 elections keeps the study of politics relevant and shows how political scientists look at the development of the American political system.
  • Support Instructors– A full supplements package including the Class Preparation Tool in the New MyPoliSciLab is available.
  • Note: MyPoliSciLab does not come automatically packaged with this text.  To purchase MyPoliSciLab, please visit: www.mypoliscilab.com or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MyPoliSciLab (at no additional cost): ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205950043 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205950041.

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From the Publisher

Solve real-world puzzles like a political scientist   Understanding American Politics and Government, 2012 Election Edition introduces students to the basic tools used by political scientists.  It guides students through the fundamentals of government and helps them see why events really happen in politics. Consistently sh...

John J. Coleman is Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; he is the Lyons Family Faculty Fellow and has received a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. John’s current research examines the effect of various campaign finance rules and regulations on electoral and policy ou...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:744 pages, 10.6 × 8.5 × 1.3 inPublished:December 21, 2012Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205875203

ISBN - 13:9780205875207

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents

 

1. Brief Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1: Thinking About American Politics

Chapter 2: Political Culture 

Chapter 3: The Constitution 

Chapter 4: Federalism 

Chapter 5: Civil Liberties 

Chapter 6: Civil Rights 

Chapter 7: Public Opinion 

Chapter 8: Political Participation and Voting

Chapter 9: Elections and Campaigns 

Chapter 10: Media and Politics 

Chapter 11: Political Parties 

Chapter 12: Interest Groups

Chapter 13: Congress 

Chapter 14: The Presidency 

Chapter 15: The Federal Court System 

Chapter 16: The Bureaucracy 

Chapter 17: Economic and Social Policy 

Chapter 18: Foreign Policy   

 


2. Full Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1: Thinking About American Politics

The Purpose of Government 

Contexts for Studying American Government and Politics

Thinking about Politics

MyPoliSciLab Video Series

MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Candidate for Congress

MyPoliSciLab Explorer: How Do You Measure Freedom?

 

Chapter 2: Political Culture 

What Does It Mean to Be an American? 

Unresolved Debate: Does Belief in the American Dream Lead Americans to Oppose Government Programs?

The Beliefs of the American Creed 

Consequences and Implications of the American Creed 

Challenges to the American Creed 

 How Do We Know? Why Was the Path to Universal Health Insurance So Difficult?

MyPoliSciLab Video Series

MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a City Council Member

MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Can You Get Ahead in America?

 

Chapter 3: The Constitution 

From Revolution to Constitution 

Crafting the Constitution

Unresolved Debate: Does the Constitution Limit the Authority of the President in His Role as Commander in Chief?

The Battle for Ratification

 How Do We Know? What Motivated the Framers of the Constitution?

Amending the Constitution 

MyPoliSciLab Video Series

MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Founder

MyPoliSciLab Explorer: How Long Did It Take to Ratify the Constitution?

 

Chapter 4: Federalism 

The Nature of the Union

State and Local Governments

Dual Federalism 

Cooperative Federalism

 Unresolved Debate: Should Federal Grants be Allocated Based on Competitions Instead of Formulas?

 How Do We Know? Are States Engaged In A Race To The Bottom?

Federalism in Flux 

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Federal Judge

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Which States Win or Lose the Federal Aid Game?

 

Chapter 5: Civil Liberties 

Civil Liberties in American Politics and the Constitution 

Freedom of Speech 

How Do We Know? Does War or Fear of War Lead to Public Support for Civil Liberties Restrictions?

Freedom of Religion 

Rights of the Accused 

Discovering New Rights That Are Protected by the Constitution 

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Police Officer

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Should the Government Apply the Death Penalty?

 

Chapter 6: Civil Rights 

Equality and Civil Rights 

Equal Protection of the Laws Gains Meaning 

How Do We Know? Is White Opposition to Affirmative Action Racist?

The Politics of Civil Rights 

Extension of Equal Protection to Other Groups 

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Mayor

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Are All Forms of Discrimination the Same?

 

Chapter 7: Public Opinion 

The Nature of Public Opinion 

How Do We Know? Can Surveys Accurately Gauge the Opinions of More Than 300 Million Americans?

Political Socialization 

Public Opinion Formation 

Unresolved Debate: Do American Citizens Have the Stable, Informed Opinions Necessary to Make Good Decisions about Politics?

Making Public Opinion Work in a Democracy 

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Polling Consultant

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: What Do Young People Think about Politics Today?

 

Chapter 8: Political Participation and Voting

The Costs and Benefits of Political Participation

The Paradox of Political Participation 

How Do We Know? Why Is It So Difficult to Determine How Many People Vote on Election Day?

Factors That Influence Participation 

Comparative and Historical Puzzles of Voter Turnout 

Unresolved Debate: Can Any One Factor Explain the Decline in Voter Participation in the United States?

Understanding Individual Vote Choice 

Who Gets Heard? Does It Matter?

 > MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Voting Registration Volunteer

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: How Are People Involved in Politics?

 

Chapter 9: Elections and Campaigns 

The Basic Rules Governing American Elections 

How Do We Know? How Much Does Congressional Candidate Spending Affect Election Outcomes?

Understanding Presidential Election Outcomes 

Conducting Campaigns 

Unresolved Debate: Do Presidential Campaigns Matter?

Paying for Campaigns

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Campaign Strategist

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Is the Electoral College Democratic?

 

Chapter 10: Media and Politics 

The Unique Role of the American Media 

Constraints on American Media Freedom 

Patterns of Media Use 

Are the Media Biased? 

Media Effects on Public Opinion 

How Do We Know? Do people react to coverage of events or to the events themselves?

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Newspaper Editor

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Where Do You Get Your Political News?

 

Chapter 11: Political Parties 

What Political Parties Do 

Unresolved Debate: Is Divided Government an Accident?

The Two-Party System 

Party Organization 

The Evolution of Party Competition and Party Coalitions 

How Do We Know? Is America Polarized?

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Voter

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Which Party Governs Better?

 

Chapter 12: Interest Groups

The Problem of Factions and the Pluralist Answer 

Critics of Pluralism 

How Do We Know? Is It Possible to Measure the Impact of an Issue’s Absence From the Policy Agenda?

Solving the Collective Action Problem: Group Formation and Maintenance   What Groups Do, and Why They Do It 

Do Groups Matter? 

Unresolved Debate: Do interest Groups influence Legislative Decisions?

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Lobbyist

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Can interest Groups Buy Public Policy?

 

Chapter 13: Congress 

An Institution with Two Chambers and Shared Powers 

How Do We Know: Has Congress Abdicated Its War-Making Authority?

Principles and Dilemmas of Representation 

Unresolved Debate: Do Majority-Minority Districts Improve Minority Representation in  Congress?

How Members Make Group Decisions 

Imposing Structure on Congress 

Lawmaking 

The Appropriations Process

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Consumer Advocate

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Can Congress Get Anything Done?

 

Chapter 14: The Presidency 

Presidential Authority and Leadership 

How Do We Know? What Makes a President a Successful Leader?

Powers of the President 

Public, Electoral, and Contextual Resources for Presidential Leadership

Unresolved Debate: Do Presidential Public Appeals Work As a Political Strategy?

Institutional Resources for Presidential Leadership 

Public Opinion of the President

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a First-Term President

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: What Influences the President’s Public Approval?

 

Chapter 15: The Federal Court System 

The Constitutional Design of the Federal Judiciary 

The Organization of the Federal Judiciary 

The Number and Types of Cases That Courts Process 

Making and Interpreting the Law 

Unresolved Debate: Are Liberal Judges Really More Likely Than Conservative Judges to Be Activists?

How Do We Know? Was Bush v. Gore a Political Decision?

Judicial Appointments 

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Supreme Court Clerk

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Who Are the Activist Judges?

 

Chapter 16: The Bureaucracy 

What Bureaucrats Do 

Growth and Organization of the Bureaucracy 

Challenges of Bureaucracy 

How Do We Know? Does the Federal Bureaucracy Deserve Credit for Preventing Another 9/11?

Controlling and Reforming the Bureaucracy 

Unresolved Debate: Should Businesses Be Required to Privately Fund Public Services?

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are Head of Fema

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: What Puts the ‘Big’ in Big Government?

 

Chapter 17: Economic and Social Policy 

Enacting Economic and Social Policies 

Economic Policy 

Unresolved Debate: Did the 2009 Economic Stimulus Package Work?

Social Security 

Welfare 

Education 

How Do We Know? Why Are U.S. Students Falling Behind?

Health Care 

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a Federal Reserve Chair

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: Is Health Care a Public Good?

 

Chapter 18: Foreign Policy   

A Brief History of U.S. Foreign Policy 

The Role of the Foreign Policy Bureaucracy 

How Do We Know? Do Economic Sanctions Work?

The Role of Congress 

The Role of Interest Groups 

Contemporary Foreign Policy Challenges

Unresolved Debate: Is There Such a Thing as the Democratic Peace?

> MyPoliSciLab Video Series

> MyPoliSciLab Simulation: You Are a President During a Foreign Policy Crisis

> MyPoliSciLab Explorer: How Much Does America Spend on Defense? 

 

> MyPoliSciLab Document: The Declaration of Independence

> MyPoliSciLab Document: The Constitution of the United States

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Federalist No. 10

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Federalist No. 15

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Federalist No. 51

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Federalist No. 78

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Anti-Federalist No. 17

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Marbury v. Madison

> MyPoliSciLab Document: McCulloch v. Maryland

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Brown v. Board of Education

> MyPoliSciLab Document: The Gettysburg Address

> MyPoliSciLab Document: Washington’s Farewell Address

Editorial Reviews

“Understanding American Politics and Government empowers students to think more analytically and provides them with a sharper understanding about politics. A superior approach to understanding the intellectual process of answering political questions, this book is superb in every way!”–Dave Adler, Idaho State University   “Understanding American Politics and Government is distinct from other introductory American politics texts in that it introduces students to the work of political science—particularly how to establish causality—while refraining from advocating for a single theoretical approach.”–Stacey Pelika, College of William & Mary   “I like the way the authors are able to grab the reader’s attention at the very beginning of the chapter and keep it focused with excellent writing, explanations, examples, and current case studies.”–Wayne Ault, Southwestern Illinois College