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Tides of Consent
How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics

$24.00 USD

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511227769

$ 24.00 USD
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About the Authors
  • Politics is a trial in which those in government - and those who aspire to be - make proposals, debate alternatives, and pass laws. Then the jury of public opinion decides. It likes the proposals or actions or it does not. It trusts the actors or it doesn't. It moves, always at the margin, and then those who benefit from the movement are declared winners. This book is about that public opinion response. Its most basic premise is that although pubic opinion rarely matters in a democracy, public opinion change is the exception. Public opinion rarely matters, because the public rarely cares enough to act on its concerns or preferences. Change happens only when the threshold of normal public inattention is crossed. When public opinion changes, governments rise or fall, elections are won or lost, old realities give way to new demands.

    • Complete account of American public opinion
    • Emphasis is on motion
    • Written with no jargon or technology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is excellent work by a scholar who is, by all measures, top in his field. Stimson writes about the single most important element in American politics: public opinion. He traces movement in public opinion over time and shows that it moves politics.' Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Ohio State University

    'Tides of Consent is an ambitious attempt to integrate the findings of a half-century of public opinion research in an effort to draw convincing conclusions about the political implications and electoral consequences of public opinion. Too often public opinion is presented as filler, a spot on the evening news when nothing else is available.Rarely do we look at public opinion in its contemporary context and almost never do we attempt to understand its significance over the long haul. In this book, Stimson offers us new insights into public preferences and understanding of the links between public preferences and public policy that are often lost in coverage of the daily news or the political campaign.' John McIver, University of Colorado

    'James Stimson has written a very important - and very readable - book. In a world of erratic sound bites, Stimson's analysis provides the underlying coherence of a symphony. Anyone who wishes to better understand the ebb and flow of American politics should read Tides of Consent.' Richard J. Tofel

    'The book is well written and a rare example of successful integration of state-of-the-art research and passing on knowledge to a wider audience … the book could be used as a benchmark for comparative research exploring the evolution in public opinion and the effects of campaigns and debates in other institutional settings … an excellent book, which deserves to be widely read.' Political Studies Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511227769
    • contains: 43 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables and figures
    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    1. Opinion flows
    2. What the public wants of government
    3. Left and Right movements in preference
    4. The great horse race: finding meaning in presidential campaigns
    5. Between the campaigns: public approval and and disapproval of government
    6. On politics at the margin
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    James A. Stimson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    James A. Stimson is the Raymond Dawson Distinguished Bicentennial Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a former President and Treasurer of the American Political Science Association. He has authored and co-authored numerous books including Yeas and Neys: Normal Decision-Making in the U.S. House of Representatives, Issue Evolution: Race and the Reconstruction of American Politics, Public Opinion in America, and The Macro Polity. Professor Stimson has served as Editor of Political Analysis, and has served on the editorial board of journals such as the American Journal of Political Science and the Journal of Politics. He has authored many articles published in major journals of political science and is the recipient of various awards for his distinguished scholarship.

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