Republic if You Can Keep It, A: Constitutional Politics and Public Policy

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9780130950673: Republic if You Can Keep It, A: Constitutional Politics and Public Policy

For undergraduate Introduction to Public Policy and Public Policy Analysis courses; honors or point-of-view courses in American Government and Public Policy; and graduate seminars on American Government and Public Policy.Setting out to prove that constitutional politics is relevant to our lives and not just an abstraction, this probing text helps students make the transition from the study of American government to the study of public policy--shedding remarkable insight on the state of America's government as it highlights the seemingly permanent and significant connection between constitutional principles, the way they are exploited by politicians, and how they shape the character of public policy as a whole. Presenting an institutional analysis approach that is noticeably underplayed in most public policy texts, it focuses on themes common to an introductory American government course but with a rigorous concentration on the impact of these institutions on how policy decisions are made, together with assessments of whether the impact is favorable or unfavorable--and why.

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Helping readers understand the relevance of constitutional politics to their everyday lives, this probing study highlights the seemingly permanent and significant connection between constitutional principles, the way they are exploited by politicians, and how they shape the character of public policy. Presents an orderly, congruous study, linking policy processes and results to an institutional and political framework familiar to most readers from earlier studies in American government. Discusses how government institutions and ideas created or inspired by the Constitution have a distinct impact on both policy processes and policy results; how political forces often exploit the Constitution and its structural, ideological, and political byproducts to influence public policy; and how the manipulation of this form of “constitutional politicsø has shed a destructive light on contemporary politics and government. Covers such recent events as the Clinton impeachment and trial, the impact of special prosecutors on the strength and behavior of policy institutions, and how the rush to redefine and expand the meaning of constitutional rights impacts policy processes and outputs negatively. For those in public policy, public administration, or government, or for anyone interested in how the Constitution has affected the American governmental structure and policymaking.

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