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Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving Paperback – March 21, 2013
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"Adler and Wilkerson provide an insightful analysis in Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving that offers a more complex view of Congress than the one-dimensional critique we typically get from the press. They discuss institutional practices and processes that drive congressional problem solving and why members of Congress continue to perpetuate them. Although this appears to be the most partisan and dysfunctional Congress in memory, Adler and Wilkerson demonstrate that Democrats and Republicans in Congress are capable of cooperating when they need to." - Representative Henry A. Waxman, 30th Congressional District of California
"Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving is the first serious rethinking of the role and operation of Congress in twenty years or more. It has the potential of encouraging congressional scholars to rethink many of the 'givens' in the field, and will be widely cited and adopted in courses. Additionally, it will be warmly regarded by public policy scholars and by practitioners and any who care about the operation of Congress." - Bryan Jones, J. J. "Jake" Pickle Regents Chair in Congressional Studies, University of Texas at Austin
"This book is the culmination of an enormous effort by the authors, stretching over many years, to collect relevant data on the law-making process and to use the data to address important theoretical issues. The results are impressive. Every congressional researcher will want to read and understand the arguments and evidence the authors marshal, and students will benefit greatly from having this book assigned in class." - David W. Rohde, Ernestine Friedl Professor of Political Science, Duke University
"In the end, I hope and expect that Adler and Wilkerson's challenging study will be widely read. A book that forces us to think hard about how we approach the study of Congress does not come along very often."
Paul J. Quirk, Congress and the Presidency
For many, Congress is an institution consumed by partisan bickering and gridlock. Yet the institution's long history of addressing significant societal problems - even in recent years - seems to contradict this view. The authors of this book argue that the willingness of many voters to hold elected officials accountable for societal conditions is central to appreciating why Congress responds to problems in society despite the many reasons mustered for why it cannot. The authors show that, across decades of policy making, problem-solving motivations explain why bipartisanship is a common pattern of congressional behavior and offer the best explanation for legislative issue attention and policy change.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've read many of Adler and Wilkerson's APSA and MPSA papers from 2005-2012, but Chapter 5--and the sequential game therein--still managed to overturn the furniture in my mind; that chapter alone is worth the asking price! I can only hope more American Politics courses--at both the undergraduate and graduate levels--add this important work to their syllabi.