In recent years, American political development has claimed the attention of a growing band of political scientists, and scholars have begun to speak of 'APD' as a subfield within the discipline. This book provides a justification for studying politics historically, not only for what it reveals about the roots of political affairs at the present time but what it teaches about politics as an ongoing activity in time, anytime. Placing the character of political institutions at the center of analysis, Orren and Skowronek survey past and current scholarship and attempt to outline a course of study for the future.
• This was the first general assessment of the field of American political development in political science • Pushes forward historical-institution reasoning about politics, thus addressing an important strand of research in comparative political studies • Defines 'political development' in a way that organizes much of the recent literature and directs attention to central questions at issue in the field
1. The historical construction of politics; 2. Unraveling the premise: the cultural critique; 3. The institutional turn: rethinking order and change in time: 4. Political development: the definition; 5. Political development: the issue.