Party ChangeAmerican political parties experience continual change. What drives that and how can we track change? The articles in this volume offer analyses of the myriad ways in which change occurs and how we can assess change.Often the focus is on efforts to change the constituencies of parties. As Boris Heersink documents, sometimes party leaders create change through their strategic decisions about whom to attract while worrying about whom they will alienate. From 1948 to 1968 both Democrats and Republicans struggled with how much to appeal to the growing influence of Black voters versus appealing to the South. Sometimes it is groups that push their way onto the scene, seeking policy gains, and a party to work with. Christopher Baylor analyses the push of Blacks to work with unions and gain a place within the Democratic Party from the 1940s through the 1960s. He also assesses the push of conservative Christians to become a significant factor in the Republican Party beginning in the 1970s. Other times elites search for a majority but find it difficult to clearly identify the appeals that might attract a new constituency. Robert Mason reviews the uncertain search for a culturally conservative coalition beginning with Richard Nixon in the late 1960s and continuing for several decades.Parties are also reflections of shifting notions of democracy and how processes and rules of choosing candidates should reflect those ideas. Daniel Schlozman and Sam Rosenfeld track how notions of what a party should be evolved from the late 1800s to now and how these ideas translated into party processes and rules for selecting candidates. Elizabeth Sanders tackles the changes within the Democratic Party since the 1970s. She argues that changes in debates about openness altered the delegate selection process and resulted in the party losing touch with its working class base and ultimately in its inability to win the 2016 presidential race.Finally, Danielle Thomson offers another way to examine party change. She tracks which caucuses new Members join and documents the decline of moderate Members within each party.As a part of our occasional career reviews, Eric Schickler presents a discussion of the contributions of David Mayhew.In book reviews, we have: Hans Noel reviewing Byron E. Shafer. The American Political Pattern: Stability and Change, 1932–2016; Graham Wilson reviewing Justin Gest The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality; and Nicol Rae reviewing David R. Mayhew, The Imprint of Congress.
The Forum – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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