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Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics (Paperback)
  • Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics (Paperback)

Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics (Paperback)

Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 13/09/2004
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Politics is a trial in which those in government - and those who aspire to be - make proposals, debate alternatives, and pass laws. Then the jury of public opinion decides. It likes the proposals or actions or it does not. It trusts the actors or it doesn't. It moves, always at the margin, and then those who benefit from the movement are declared winners. This book is about that public opinion response. Its most basic premise is that although pubic opinion rarely matters in a democracy, public opinion change is the exception. Public opinion rarely matters, because the public rarely cares enough to act on its concerns or preferences. Change happens only when the threshold of normal public inattention is crossed. When public opinion changes, governments rise or fall, elections are won or lost, old realities give way to new demands.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521601177
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 288 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 12 mm

'This is excellent work by a scholar who is, by all measures, top in his field. Stimson writes about the single most important element in American politics: public opinion. He traces movement in public opinion over time and shows that it moves politics.' Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Ohio State University
'Tides of Consent is an ambitious attempt to integrate the findings of a half-century of public opinion research in an effort to draw convincing conclusions about the political implications and electoral consequences of public opinion. Too often public opinion is presented as filler, a spot on the evening news when nothing else is available.Rarely do we look at public opinion in its contemporary context and almost never do we attempt to understand its significance over the long haul. In this book, Stimson offers us new insights into public preferences and understanding of the links between public preferences and public policy that are often lost in coverage of the daily news or the political campaign.' John McIver, University of Colorado
'James Stimson has written a very important - and very readable - book. In a world of erratic sound bites, Stimson's analysis provides the underlying coherence of a symphony. Anyone who wishes to better understand the ebb and flow of American politics should read Tides of Consent.' Richard J. Tofel
'The book is well written and a rare example of successful integration of state-of-the-art research and passing on knowledge to a wider audience ... the book could be used as a benchmark for comparative research exploring the evolution in public opinion and the effects of campaigns and debates in other institutional settings ... an excellent book, which deserves to be widely read.' Political Studies Review

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