What is the state of American political parties today? What functions do parties serve in politics and government in the United States? How have parties changed in recent decades, and where are they headed? In this book 16 distinguished scholarsbring their varying perspectives to bear on these essential questions. What emerges is a complex picture of a party system that is continually evolving, with the parties regenerating and revitalising in some areas while declining and weakening in others.
The thirteen original essays in this book examine parties as a force affecting the mass public, as electoral and politcal organizations, and as governing groups. Together, the essays offer a broad and accessible overview of the U.S. party system and clarify the roles that parties play in American democracy.