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In an age when partisan politics has reached a deafening—and arguably impotent—pitch, how does the real work of politics get done? This book opens the door on backroom politics and gives readers an insider's perspective on the efforts of policymakers from three presidential administrations to get past the naysayers and effect real and lasting policy changes.
The editors take a comparative approach, offering a thorough overview of policymaking during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, with further discussion of President Obama's successful and failed attempts to build coalitions and get past no. The contributors, a national network of prominent political scientists, reveal the sausage-making of politics and policy. Readers can almost see the political players in the proverbial smoke-filled room, shirtsleeves rolled up and BlackBerrys in hand, developing the strategies and hammering out the compromises designed to hold the party base while winning over independent voters. Combining an insider's perspective with actual case studies, the volume examines the policymaking behind such programs as
• No Child Left Behind
• tax cuts
• Social Security privatization
• Medicare prescription drug reform
• education and immigration reform
• environmental policy
• judicial politics
• national security
Covering all major areas of policymaking, Building Coalitions, Making Policy gives instructors in political science, public administration and policy, American government, and American presidential studies plenty of provocative examples for classroom debate.