Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Facebook Twitter YouTube SoundCloud Instagram Tumblr Email list

Dynamics of American Democracy: Partisan Polarization, Political Competition and Government Performance

November 16, 2020

In December 2020, Eric M. Patashnik and Wendy J. Schiller will publish, "Dynamics of American Democracy: Partisan Polarization, Political Competition and Government Performance." This edited volume brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the challenges plaguing contemporary American politics, including ideological polarization, partisan sorting, and legislative stalemate. 


The authors consider the performance of the two-party system, the operations of Congress and the presidency, federalism, and the ways in which ordinary citizens form their beliefs and make their voting decisions. The contributors’ work represents a wide range of perspectives and methodological approaches and provides insight into what ails American governance, from the practice of politics as tribal warfare to the electoral rules that produce a two-party hegemony, and from the impact of social media — including how differently conservatives and liberals use Twitter — to the significance of President Trump in historical and institutional perspective. Finally, Dynamics of American Democracy goes beyond diagnosis to present proposals for reforming politics.