Dramatic changes in political institutions and behavior over the past three decades have underscored the dynamic nature of American politics, confronting political scientists with a new and pressing intellectual agenda. The pioneering work of early postwar scholars, while laying a firm empirical foundation for contemporary scholarship, failed to consider how American politics might change or recognize the forces that would make fundamental change inevitable. In reassessing the static interpretations fostered by these classic studies, political scientists are now examining the underlying dynamics that generate transformational change. Transforming American Politics is a series that brings together texts addressing four closely related aspects of change. A first concern is documenting and explaining recent changes in American politics-in institutions, processes, behavior, and policymaking. A second is reinterpreting classic studies and theories to provide a more accurate perspective on postwar politics. The series looks at historical change to identify recurring patterns of political transformation within and across the distinctive eras of American politics. Last and perhaps most important, the series presents new theories and interpretations that explain the dynamic processes at work and thus clarify the direction of contemporary politics. All of the books focus on the central theme of transformation-transformation in both the conduct of American politics and in the way we study and understand its many aspects.
About the Author
James A. Thurber is a Distinguished University Professor of Government and the Founder and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Thurber is the author, coauthor, and editor of Obama In Office, Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations, Campaign Warriors: Political Consultants in Elections, Crowded Airways: Campaign Advertising in Elections, The Battle for Congress: Consultants, Candidates, and Voters, Congress and the Internet, as well as numerous articles on Congress, campaigns and elections, and interest groups and lobbying. Candice J. Nelson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Government, and academic director of the Campaign Management Institute at American University. She is the author of Grant Park: The Democratization of Presidential Elections: 1968-2008, coauthor of Vital Signs: Perspective on the Health of American Campaigning, The Money Chase: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform, and The Myth of the Independent Voter.