Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Politics of Major Policy Reform in Postwar America


Jeffery A. Jenkins, Sidney M. Milkis, David R. Mayhew, Sean Farhang, R. Shep Melnick, Dorian T. Warren, Terry M. Moe, Lawrence R. Jacobs, Theda Skocpol, Carol M. Swain, Virginia M. Yetter, Judith Goldstein, Richard H. Immerman, Jennifer L. Merolla, Paul Pulido, Paul Pierson
View all contributors
  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107668485

$ 23.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an evaluation copy?

This title is not currently available for evaluation. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an evaluation copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The Politics of Major Policy Reform in Postwar America examines the politics of recent landmark policy in areas such as homeland security, civil rights, health care, immigration and trade, and it does so within a broad theoretical and historical context. By considering the politics of major programmatic reforms in the United States since the Second World War - specifically, courses of action aimed at dealing with perceived public problems - a group of distinguished scholars sheds light not only on significant efforts to ameliorate widely recognized ills in domestic and foreign affairs but also on systemic developments in American politics and government. In sum, this volume provides a comprehensive understanding of how major policy breakthroughs are achieved, stifled, or compromised in a political system conventionally understood as resistant to major change.

    • Distinct focus on the politics of policy reform
    • Investigates reform across a range of important issue areas
    • Covers more than a half-century of politics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Framed by a resonant introduction, this volume powerfully places policy content at the heart of American lawmaking and statecraft. Here is that unusual instance when a collection of rigorously researched and argued essays constitutes a large and compelling intellectual contribution, a manifesto for a content-rich political science.' Ira I. Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

    'Represents a major contribution to the study of American public policy. Jeffery Jenkins and Sidney Milkis have brought together an exceptional group of scholars full of insights into how major policy breakthroughs are achieved, blocked, or deeply compromised.' Eric Schickler, Professor, Jeffrey and Ashley McDermott Endowed Chair, and Department Chair of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

    'This first-rate group of scholars assembled by Jeffery Jenkins and Sidney Milkis illuminate how traditional governing arrangements - the separation of powers and federalism - have actually permitted this development and, in turn, been changed by it. Readers will learn a tremendous amount about a wide-ranging and highly relevant group of policy areas and, what's more, they will come to a new understanding of the American state itself.' Suzanne Mettler, Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions, Cornell University

    'This superb book portrays a nation in the grip of 'policy-mindedness', not a flight into polarized gridlock. The result is a thoroughly Madisonian adaptation to the challenges of programmatic government.' Rick Valelly, Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107668485
    • length: 329 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 160 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the rise of a policy state? Jeffery A. Jenkins and Sidney M. Milkis
    2. The long 1950s as a policy era David R. Mayhew
    3. Litigation and reform Sean Farhang
    4. Courts and agencies in the American civil rights state R. Shep Melnick
    5. The politics of labor policy reform Dorian T. Warren
    6. Teachers unions and American education reform: the power of vested interests Terry M. Moe
    7. Progressive federalism and the contested implementation of Obama's health reform Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol
    8. Federalism and the politics of immigration reform Carol M. Swain and Virginia M. Yetter
    9. Trade politics and reform Judith Goldstein
    10. The politics of intelligence reform Richard H. Immerman
    11. Follow the leader: major changes to homeland security and terrorism policy Jennifer L. Merolla and Paul Pulido
    12. Conclusion: Madison upside down: the policy roots of our polarized politics Paul Pierson.

  • Editors

    Jeffery A. Jenkins, University of Virginia
    Jeffery A. Jenkins is a Professor in the Department of Politics and Faculty Associate in the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. He has published more than thirty articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Studies in American Political Development. He is also the author (with Charles Stewart, III) of Fighting for the Speakership: The House and the Rise of Party Government (2013) and the editor (with Eric M. Patashnik) of Living Legislation: Durability, Change, and the Politics of American Lawmaking (2012).

    Sidney M. Milkis, University of Virginia
    Sidney M. Milkis is the White Burkett Miller Professor in the Department of Politics and Faculty Associate in the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. He has written extensively on political history and American politics, with special attention to the presidency, political parties, and social movements. His books include The President and the Parties: The Transformation of the American Party System Since the New Deal (1993); Political Parties and Constitutional Government: Remaking American Democracy (1999); Presidential Greatness (2000), co-authored with Marc Landy; The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776–2011, 6th edition (2011), co-authored with Michael Nelson; and Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy (2009). He is the co-editor (with Jerome Mileur) of three volumes on twentieth-century political reform: Progressivism and the New Democracy (1999), The New Deal and the Triumph of Liberalism (2002), and The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism (2005). His articles have been published in Perspectives on Politics, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, the Journal of Policy History, Studies in American Political Development, and numerous edited volumes.


    Jeffery A. Jenkins, Sidney M. Milkis, David R. Mayhew, Sean Farhang, R. Shep Melnick, Dorian T. Warren, Terry M. Moe, Lawrence R. Jacobs, Theda Skocpol, Carol M. Swain, Virginia M. Yetter, Judith Goldstein, Richard H. Immerman, Jennifer L. Merolla, Paul Pulido, Paul Pierson

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.