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Issue Evolution: Race and the Transformation of American Politics Reprint Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0691023311
ISBN-10: 069102331X
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Issue Evolution: Race and the Transformation of American Politics + Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America (3rd Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is one of the most important books in political science to have been published in the post-World War II era. It is a book indispensable for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary American politics and public opinion."--Bernard Grofman, International Journal of Public Opinion Research

From the Back Cover


"A major contribution to the study of realignment and political change. [This book] will be as important as the works of Sundquist, Clubb, and even Key."--Gerald M. Pomper, Rutgers University


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069102331X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691023311
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Arsenault on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carmines and Stimson seek to explain the origin of politically salient issues, why some issues survive in a highly competitive contest for public attention, and how some issues are able to transform the political environment from which they evolved. Specifically, the look at issues and parties.

The authors contend that the ever increasing complexity of society draws many interests and issues into the competitive political environment (Berry and Wilcox 1997, would agree). In this complex arena some issues gain public attention, and subsequently importance, while others do not. Importance and attention can stem from a number of sources. First, strategic politicians may draw attention to an issue to gain power. The party in power will seek to maintain public attention on their winning "issue agenda," while the opposition party will seek to generate "issue conflicts" to upset the status quo (see also Downs 1957; and Schattschneider 1960). Second, new problems emerge, and public debate occurs regarding the best way to solve them. Third, an older issue may be applied to a new context, and subsequently a new issue may develop and evolve, different from the original. Lastly, internal contradictions may emerge between existing issues, problems, and solutions. Form this imbalance, new issues emerge.

Aside from the sources of issue competition, Carmines and Stimson are interested in the outcomes of such competition. They contend that issue outcomes can take three forms, each with various chances of reshaping the political environment. First, we may find "organic extensions" in which new issues fit into older conflicts. Because they simply are a continuation of older debates, they are unlikely to shift the political system in a new direction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vegan Matt on August 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
C&S drive home the central place of race in twentieth century politics. It's an excellent political history, and also an important pioneering work on punctuated equilibrium models of political change (see Baumgartner and Jones 2009 for the fruits of this approach).

If the work has a drawback, it's that the model is developed from a single case that is by selection exceptional. That is, race is an "issue evolution" in that as it developed it changed the American political landscape. The book does not give as clear a picture of how the vast majority of issues move through the political system. Again, try pairing it with B&J 2009.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lee Vidigal on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not what i expected. The book appeared to different. But i already bought it,so there is nothing i can do.
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