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US Government and Politics

William Storey

Edition: 2

eBook (PDF) i
eBook (PDF) i

The US political system is designed to ensure that freedom and opportunity will always be protected, by making it almost impossible for power to become concentrated in the hands of a few people seeking to run society for their own benefit. Have these aims been achieved?

The answer is that Americans have sharply contrasting views on how well their political system works. They disagreed with each other when they established the system at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and have continued to disagree ever since. This book covers the key issues, political systems and governing institutions at the heart of these disagreements, outlining the thinking behind the main points of view, to help its readers decide for themselves which viewpoint they find most persuasive.

This new edition of the best-selling introduction to US Government and Politics has been completely revised and updated to reflect the changes in the area since the election of the new President.

Key Features

  • Presents a readable, accessible but academically stimulating introduction to the government and politics of the USA
  • Evaluates the US political system through the topics of: the Constitution; Race; the Supreme Court; Federalism; Elections; Political Parties; Pressure Groups; Congress; The Presidency


List of Boxes
List of Tables
Part 1: The Framework of US Politics: 1 The Constitution - History and Key Features
Historical Background
The Constitutional Convention
Ratifying the Constitution
Key Features of the Constitution
Perspectives on the Constitution
2 Federalism - Evaluating a key feature of the Constitution
The States at Independence from Britain
The Constitutional Convention: Debating Federalism
The Development of Federalism
Federalism in the Twenty-First Century
3 Race & US Politics - Freedom and Opportunity for all?
The Constitution and Race
The Extent of Racial Inequality in the Twenty-First Century
The Causes of Racial Inequality
The Rise of Affirmative Action
Limitations on Affirmative Action
The Debate on Affirmative Action
Part 2: The Limits on Federal Power - Pluralism: 4 Elections
Historical Background
The Evolution of Democracy
The Electoral System at State and Local Level
The Electoral System: Congressional Elections
The Electoral Process: The Presidency
Concerns about the Electoral System: Campaign Finance
Concerns about the Electoral System: Incumbency Advantage
Concerns about the Electoral System: Voter Participation
Perspectives on the Electoral System
5 Political Parties
The Role of Political Parties
The Development of the Main Political Parties
The Modern Republican Party
The Modern Democratic Party
Party Supporters
Minor Parties
6 Pressure Groups
Pressure Groups and the Constitution
The Aims and Objectives of Pressure Groups
Access Points: Why, and How, They are Exploited
Assessing the Impact of Pressure Groups
Part 3: Testing the Limits of Federal Power - The Judiciary, The Legislature and The Executive: 7 The Supreme Court
The Role of the Judiciary
The Constitution and the Judiciary
Judicial Review
The Political Character of Judicial Review
Judicial Philosophies
Judicial Appointments
The Roberts Court (from 2005 to 2009)
8 Congress
Congress and the Constituti

About the Author

William Storey has been Principal Examiner for A2 US Government and Politics (Edexcel) for several years and, more recently, was Principal Examiner for A2 Key Issues in UK Politics (Edexcel). He provides consultancy to schools and colleges on teaching strategies and leads intensive revision courses. He is has written two revision guides on US Government & Politics and is a regular contributor to Politics Review, all published by Philip Allan.

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