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Divided Government (Longman Classics Edition) (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321121844
ISBN-10: 0321121848
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From the Back Cover

The 1994 Mid-Term elections, the “Republican Revolution” that returned control of both Houses of Congress to the Republicans for the first time in over 40 years, returned us to the state of “divided government” that has been the political norm since the 1950s. In this timely new revision of his instant classic, Morris Fiorina outlines the causes and consequences of “ticket-splitting” and divided government. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 2 edition (August 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321121848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321121844
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,826,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Arsenault on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Fiorina contends that divided government has become the norm in American politics, especially in the form of a Republican executive and a Democratic legislature. He attempts to explain why divided government occurs, and the subsequent consequences.
Fiorina explains divided government from two directions. The first suggests that divided government stems from "structural or otherwise nonpolitical features of the political process and/or institutions that advantage one party relative to another" (156). The second suggests that a "balancing logic" shapes the vote choice of individuals and leads them to "split" their vote between the two parties.
In regards to structural or nonpolitical features, Fiorina claims that the professionalization of legislatures - higher salaries, longer sessions, full-time careers - have lowered the benefits of serving in office for Republican candidates, while increasing the benefits for Democrats. He contends that full-time careers "have higher opportunity costs for Republicans, who have more attractive alternatives in business and the professions" (58). On the other hand, for Democrats, full-time public service is a sound move as opposed to their usual career alternatives. Furthermore, like Jacobson and Kernel (1983), Fiorina argues that "once Republicans fall to minority states [the result of poor candidates], their chances of achieving programmatic or ideological goals decline, further diminishing the attractiveness of a legislative career" (58).
In regards to "balancing logic," Fiorina contends that voters choose divided government intentionally. He discusses three balancing models.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
An interesting book. . . . As usual, Morris Fiorina is something of a contrarian. He examines "divided government" and comes to a different conclusion than many citizens, pundits, and political scientists.

What is divided government? When different branches are under different party control. For instance, there was a time when, under Bill Clinton, Democrats controlled the White House and Republicans the House of Representatives. Or Dwight Eisenhower, an R, had to contend with both the House and Senate in Democratic hands. That's divided government. The standard view is that this produces gridlock and an inability by government to "get things done."

Fiorina addresses this in a number of ways. For one, he observes that divided government has been around for a long time. He notes that there have been several time periods featuring considerable divided government: 1840-1860; 1874-1896; 1952-1992 (and beyond).

Second, he observes that divided government does not prevent major action from being taken. During those three periods, even when divided government existed, many major pieces of legislation were passed.

He also asks why divided government occurs. Is it because voters don't trust either party with full power and create divided government as a check? Or. . . . What?

A provocative work. It helps the reader think about less obvious aspects of divided government. . . .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "bwbarton" on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Fiorina's classic work is both insightful and simple. Divided Government changed the way I think about American politics, yet the concepts are remarkably easy to understand. A must read for students of American government.
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Format: Paperback
Fiorina's text provides a straightforward and concise explanation of why the U.S. has experienced an increase in divided government (i.e. a President of one party and a Congress dominated by the opposite party) after World War II. In critiquing the ideas of James Sundquist (and others), Fiorina examines competing explanations for this phenomenon and ponders what this ultimately means for America. An indispensible read for both the political science student and the lay reader interested in understanding the composition of American government.
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Divided Government (Longman Classics Edition) (2nd Edition)
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