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  • Cited by 6
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2014
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Book description

The Politics of Major Policy Reform in Postwar America examines the politics of recent landmark policy in areas such as homeland security, civil rights, health care, immigration and trade, and it does so within a broad theoretical and historical context. By considering the politics of major programmatic reforms in the United States since the Second World War - specifically, courses of action aimed at dealing with perceived public problems - a group of distinguished scholars sheds light not only on significant efforts to ameliorate widely recognized ills in domestic and foreign affairs but also on systemic developments in American politics and government. In sum, this volume provides a comprehensive understanding of how major policy breakthroughs are achieved, stifled, or compromised in a political system conventionally understood as resistant to major change.


'Framed by a resonant introduction, this volume powerfully places policy content at the heart of American lawmaking and statecraft. Here is that unusual instance when a collection of rigorously researched and argued essays constitutes a large and compelling intellectual contribution, a manifesto for a content-rich political science.'

Ira I. Katznelson - Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

'Represents a major contribution to the study of American public policy. Jeffery Jenkins and Sidney Milkis have brought together an exceptional group of scholars full of insights into how major policy breakthroughs are achieved, blocked, or deeply compromised.'

Eric Schickler - Professor, Jeffrey and Ashley McDermott Endowed Chair, and Department Chair of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

'This first-rate group of scholars assembled by Jeffery Jenkins and Sidney Milkis illuminate how traditional governing arrangements - the separation of powers and federalism - have actually permitted this development and, in turn, been changed by it. Readers will learn a tremendous amount about a wide-ranging and highly relevant group of policy areas and, what’s more, they will come to a new understanding of the American state itself.'

Suzanne Mettler - Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions, Cornell University

'This superb book portrays a nation in the grip of ‘policy-mindedness', not a flight into polarized gridlock. The result is a thoroughly Madisonian adaptation to the challenges of programmatic government.'

Rick Valelly - Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College

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