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Statehouse Democracy


  • Page extent: 284 pages
  • Size: 234 x 156 mm
  • Weight: 0.564 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 303.3/8
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: HN90.P8 E76 1993
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Public opinion--United States--States
    • State governments--United States

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521413497 | ISBN-10: 0521413494)

The importance of public opinion in the determination of public policy is the subject of considerable debate. Whether discussion centres on local, state or national affairs, the influence of the opinions of ordinary citizens is often assumed yet rarely demonstrated. Other factors such as interest group lobbying, party politics and developmental, or environmental, constraints have been thought to have the greater influence over policy decisions. Professors Erikson, Wright and McIver make the argument that state policies are highly responsive to public opinion, and they show how the institutions of state politics work to achieve this high level of responsiveness. They analyse state policies from the 1930s to the present, drawing from, and contributing to, major lines of research on American politics. Their conclusions are applied to central questions of democratic theory and affirm the robust character of the state institution.

• For the first time in a major study, the authors demonstrate the actual importance of public opinion and of the 'public voice' in politics • Important reading for anyone interested in elections as a mechanism of democracy and public policy • Could possibly become required reading on most American politics courses


Preface; 1. Democratic states; 2. Measuring state partisanship and ideology; 3. Accounting for state differences in opinion; 4. Public opinion and policy in the American states; 5. State parties and state policy; 6. Legislative elections and state policy; 7. Political culture and policy representation; 8. Partisanship, ideology and state elections; 9. State opinion over time; 10. Conclusions: democracy in the American states; References; Index.

Prize Winner

Mac Jewell Enduring Contribution Book Award, State Politics and Policy Section, American Political Science Association 2014 - Winner

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