The Macro Polity, first published in 2002, provides a comprehensive model of American politics at the system level. Focusing on the interactions between citizen evaluations and preferences, government activity and policy, and how the combined acts of citizens and governments influence one another over time, it integrates understandings of matters such as economic outcomes, presidential approval, partisanship, elections, and government policy-making into a single model. Borrowing from the perspective of macroeconomics, it treats electorates, politicians, and governments as unitary actors, making decisions in response to the behavior of other actors. The macro and longitudinal focus makes it possible to directly connect the behaviors of electorate and government. The surprise of macro-level analysis, emerging anew in every chapter, is that order and rationality dominate explanations. This book argues that the electorates and governments that emerge from these analyses respond to one another in orderly and predictable ways.
• Complete model of American politics • System level focus; puts democratic theory to test • The product of fifteen years of research: previous articles have won several prestigious awards
List of figures and tables; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. A model of the macro polity; Part I. Performance: 2. Presidential approval; 3. Presidential approval, the economy, and the future; 4. Macro partisanship: the permanent memory of party performance; 5. The group composition of macropartisan trends; Part II. Policy: 6. Public opinion; 7. Elections; 8. Public opinion and policy-making; 9. A governing system: laws and public opinion; Part III. American Politics as a System: 10. The macropolitical system; 11. The macro polity and democratic performance; References; Index.
'… the book offers a major intervention in the debate about how best to conceptualize the link between micro and macro political trends.' Journal of Public Policy
'… a much more interesting approach than we often tread in other books on political systems. furthermore, its implication that the public mood does matter in politics and that we cannot dispose if it as uninteresting opinions of uninformed nitwits, or even the bellyaching of quarrelsome persons, as we hear too often, gives hope for theories and research into democratic systems.' Acta Politica