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Making Policy, Making Law: An Interbranch Perspective (American Governance and Public Policy series) [Paperback]

Mark C. Miller , Jeb Barnes , Robert A. Katzmann Jr.

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Book Description

August 23, 2004 1589010256 978-1589010253

The functioning of the U.S. government is a bit messier than Americans would like to think. The general understanding of policymaking has Congress making the laws, executive agencies implementing them, and the courts applying the laws as written -- as long as those laws are constitutional. Making Policy, Making Law fundamentally challenges this conventional wisdom, arguing that no dominant institution -- or even a roughly consistent pattern of relationships -- exists among the various players in the federal policymaking process. Instead, at different times and under various conditions, all branches play roles not only in making public policy, but in enforcing and legitimizing it as well. This is the first text that looks in depth at this complex interplay of all three branches.

The common thread among these diverse patterns is an ongoing dialogue among roughly coequal actors in various branches and levels of government. Those interactions are driven by processes of conflict and persuasion distinctive to specific policy arenas as well as by the ideas, institutional realities, and interests of specific policy communities. Although complex, this fresh examination does not render the policymaking process incomprehensible; rather, it encourages scholars to look beyond the narrow study of individual institutions and reach across disciplinary boundaries to discover recurring patterns of interbranch dialogue that define (and refine) contemporary American policy.

Making Policy, Making Law provides a combination of contemporary policy analysis, an interbranch perspective, and diverse methodological approaches that speak to a surprisingly overlooked gap in the literature dealing with the role of the courts in the American policymaking process. It will undoubtedly have significant impact on scholarship about national lawmaking, national politics, and constitutional law. For scholars and students in government and law -- as well as for concerned citizenry -- this book unravels the complicated interplay of governmental agencies and provides a heretofore in-depth look at how the U.S. government functions in reality.


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This first-rate collection provides additional and more comprehensive support for a sophisticated, interactive political model of separated powers.... Anyone with an interest in American political institutions ought to read this volume. It is chock full of thoughtful and insightful scholarship on a central aspect of American governance." -- Law & Politics Book Review



"The book delivers 'big-time,' providing a perspective that should change how we conceptualize the lawmaking process, altering our perceptions of the role of different levels and branches of government in the process, and providing a provocative argument about why the American lawmaking process differs so greatly from that of other established democracies. It thus will become a 'must read' volume for all who are seriously interested in understanding American lawmaking and the role of our governing institutions in it." -- Lawrence C. Dodd, Manning J. Dauer Eminent Scholar in Political Science, University of Florida



"Anchored in the 'new institutionalism,' this volume makes a stunning contribution to both political science and legal scholarship. It replaces a tired (and incorrect) civics book notion of separation-of-powers with a more realistic (and accurate) view of policymaking that depends upon dialogue and shared powers among all the branches of government. The wonderfully written essays prepared by an all-star cast of scholars should make this an attractive book for use in any number of different political science, public policy, and law school courses. Indeed, entire courses can be constructed around it." -- Malcolm M. Feeley, Claire Sanders Clements Professor of Law, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley



"A major contribution. In this volume a wonderful collection of first-rate scholars treat legislators, executive officials, and judges as part of an integrated and ongoing process of democractic decision making. Miller and Barnes provide a thoughtful and persuasive rationale for their interbranch perspective, and the methodologically diverse essays provide conclusive evidence for the virtues of their approach. Making Policy, Making Law should usher in a new 'governance as dialogue' movement within institutional studies." -- Howard Gillman, professor of political science and law, University of Southern California



"If the past decade of political science scholarship teaches us anything about courts and judges it is that they cannot be understood in isolation of other institutions. This very valuable volume expands our understanding of how courts and law influence, and are deeply influenced by, policy-making in the other branches. I cannot imagine a reader who would not be stimulated by thinking about the implications of this collection." -- Cornell Clayton, Department of Political Science, Washington State University

About the Author

Mark C. Miller is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Government and International Relations, and director of the Law and Society Program at Clark University, and author of The High Priests of American Politics: The Role of Lawyers in American Political Institutions.

Jeb Barnes is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Southern California, and author of Overruled? Legislative Overrides, Pluralism, and Contemporary Court-Congress Relations.


Product Details


More About the Author

Mark C. Miller is professor and former chair of the Department of Government and International Relations at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is also the Director of the Law and Society Program there. He received his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University and his law degree from George Washington University. He served as the Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States from 1999-2000, and he was a Congressional Fellow in the Office of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone in 1995. He worked as a staff attorney for Congressman John F. Seiberling from 1983-86. He is author of The High Priests of American Politics: The Role of Lawyers in American Political Institutions (1995) and The View of the Courts from the Hill: Interactions between Congress and the Federal Judiciary (University of Virginia Press, 2009), and the co-editor of Making Policy, Making Law: An Interbranch Perspective (Georgetown University Press, 2004). He is the editor of Exploring Judicial Politics, from Oxford University Press (2008). He has been named Teacher of the Year and Advisor of the Year at Clark University, as well as receiving other teaching and research awards and fellowships. During 2006-07, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Centennial Center for Public Policy of the American Political Science Association. During the spring of 2008, he was the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Chair, a Fulbright scholar to the American Studies Program and the History Department at Leiden University in the Netherlands.


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