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Why We're Polarized

Author : Ezra Klein
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2020-01-28
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781476700397

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Book Why We're Polarized Description/Summary:

This New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller shows us that America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: it’s working exactly as designed. In this “superbly researched” (The Washington Post) and timely book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us—and how we are polarizing it—with disastrous results. “The American political system—which includes everyone from voters to journalists to the president—is full of rational actors making rational decisions given the incentives they face,” writes political analyst Ezra Klein. “We are a collection of functional parts whose efforts combine into a dysfunctional whole.” “A thoughtful, clear and persuasive analysis” (The New York Times Book Review), Why We’re Polarized reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America’s descent into division and dysfunction. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump’s rise to the Democratic Party’s leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together. Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the 20th century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis. “Well worth reading” (New York magazine), this is an “eye-opening” (O, The Oprah Magazine) book that will change how you look at politics—and perhaps at yourself.

Why We're Polarized

Author : Ezra Klein
Publisher : Profile Books
Release : 2020-04-02
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781782837916

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Book Why We're Polarized Description/Summary:

'This book helped me understand modern politics better' - Bill Gates, Summer Reading Pick 2022 'Powerful [and] intelligent' - Fareed Zakaria, CNN 'Superbly researched and written' - Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post America's political system isn't broken. The truth is scarier: it's working exactly as designed. In Why We're Polarized, Ezra Klein reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America's deep political divisions, revealing how a system filled with rational, functional parts can combine into a dysfunctional whole. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump's rise to the Democratic Party's leftward shift to the politicisation of everyday culture. Klein shows how and why American politics polarised in the twentieth century, what that polarisation did to Americans' views of the world and one another, and how feedback loops between polarised political identities and polarised political institutions drive the system toward crisis. This revelatory book will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.

Democracies Divided

Author : Thomas Carothers,Andrew O'Donohue
Publisher : Brookings Institution Press
Release : 2019-09-24
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780815737223

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Book Democracies Divided Description/Summary:

“A must-read for anyone concerned about the fate of contemporary democracies.”—Steven Levitsky, co-author of How Democracies Die Why divisions have deepened and what can be done to heal them As one part of the global democratic recession, severe political polarization is increasingly afflicting old and new democracies alike, producing the erosion of democratic norms and rising societal anger. This volume is the first book-length comparative analysis of this troubling global phenomenon, offering in-depth case studies of countries as wide-ranging and important as Brazil, India, Kenya, Poland, Turkey, and the United States. The case study authors are a diverse group of country and regional experts, each with deep local knowledge and experience. Democracies Divided identifies and examines the fissures that are dividing societies and the factors bringing polarization to a boil. In nearly every case under study, political entrepreneurs have exploited and exacerbated long-simmering divisions for their own purposes—in the process undermining the prospects for democratic consensus and productive governance. But this book is not simply a diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Each case study discusses actions that concerned citizens and organizations are taking to counter polarizing forces, whether through reforms to political parties, institutions, or the media. The book’s editors distill from the case studies a range of possible ways for restoring consensus and defeating polarization in the world’s democracies. Timely, rigorous, and accessible, this book is of compelling interest to civic activists, political actors, scholars, and ordinary citizens in societies beset by increasingly rancorous partisanship.

Polarization

Author : Nolan McCarty
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2019-06-04
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780190867799

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Book Polarization Description/Summary:

The 2016 election of Donald J. Trump invoked a time for reflection about the state of American politics and its deep ideological, cultural, racial, regional, and economic divisions. But one aspect that the contemporary discussions often miss is that these fissures have been opening over several decades and are deeply rooted in the structure of American politics and society. In Polarization: What Everyone Needs to Know® Nolan McCarty takes readers through what scholars know and don't know about the origins, development, and implications of our rising political conflicts, delving into social, economic, and geographic determinants of polarization in the United States. While the current political climate seems to suggest that extreme views are becoming more popular, McCarty also argues that, contrary to popular belief, the 2016 election was a natural outgrowth of 40 years of polarized politics, rather than a significant break with the past. He evaluates arguments over which factors that have created this state of affairs, including gerrymandered legislative districts, partisan primary nomination systems, and our private campaign finance system. He also considers the potential of major reforms such as instating proportional representation or ranked choice voting to remedy extreme polarization. A concise overview of a complex and crucial topic in US politics, this book is for anyone wanting to understand how to repair the cracks in our system.

The Way Out

Author : Peter T. Coleman
Publisher : Columbia University Press
Release : 2021-06-01
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9780231552158

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Book The Way Out Description/Summary:

The partisan divide in the United States has widened to a chasm. Legislators vote along party lines and rarely cross the aisle. Political polarization is personal, too—and it is making us miserable. Surveys show that Americans have become more fearful and hateful of supporters of the opposing political party and imagine that they hold much more extreme views than they actually do. We have cordoned ourselves off: we prefer to date and marry those with similar opinions and are less willing to spend time with people on the other side. How can we loosen the grip of this toxic polarization and start working on our most pressing problems? The Way Out offers an escape from this morass. The social psychologist Peter T. Coleman explores how conflict resolution and complexity science provide guidance for dealing with seemingly intractable political differences. Deploying the concept of attractors in dynamical systems, he explains why we are stuck in this rut as well as the unexpected ways that deeply rooted oppositions can and do change. Coleman meticulously details principles and practices for navigating and healing the difficult divides in our homes, workplaces, and communities, blending compelling personal accounts from his years of working on entrenched conflicts with lessons from leading-edge research. The Way Out is a vital and timely guide to breaking free from the cycle of mutual contempt in order to better our lives, relationships, and country.

Uncivil Agreement

Author : Lilliana Mason
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Release : 2018-04-16
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780226524689

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Book Uncivil Agreement Description/Summary:

Political polarization in America is at an all-time high, and the conflict has moved beyond disagreements about matters of policy. For the first time in more than twenty years, research has shown that members of both parties hold strongly unfavorable views of their opponents. This is polarization rooted in social identity, and it is growing. The campaign and election of Donald Trump laid bare this fact of the American electorate, its successful rhetoric of “us versus them” tapping into a powerful current of anger and resentment. With Uncivil Agreement, Lilliana Mason looks at the growing social gulf across racial, religious, and cultural lines, which have recently come to divide neatly between the two major political parties. She argues that group identifications have changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and our opponents. Even when Democrats and Republicans can agree on policy outcomes, they tend to view one other with distrust and to work for party victory over all else. Although the polarizing effects of social divisions have simplified our electoral choices and increased political engagement, they have not been a force that is, on balance, helpful for American democracy. Bringing together theory from political science and social psychology, Uncivil Agreement clearly describes this increasingly “social” type of polarization in American politics and will add much to our understanding of contemporary politics.

Red and Blue Nation?

Author : Pietro S. Nivola,David W. Brady
Publisher : Brookings Institution Press
Release : 2008-04-01
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 0815760787

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Book Red and Blue Nation? Description/Summary:

America's polarized politics are largely disconnected from mainstream public preferences. This disconnect poses fundamental dangers for the representativeness and accountability of government, as well as the already withering public trust in it. As the 2008 presidential race kicks into gear, the political climate certainly will not become less polarized. With important issues to address—including immigration policy, health care, and the funding of the Iraq war—it is critical that essential policies not be hostage to partisan political battles. Building upon the findings of the first volume of Red and Blue Nation? (Brookings, 2006), which explored the extent of political polarization and its potential causes, this new volume delves into the consequences of the gulf between "red states" and "blue states." The authors examine the impact of these political divisions on voter behavior, Congressional law-making, judicial selection, and foreign policy formation. They shed light on hotly debated institutional reform proposals—including changes to the electoral system and the congressional rules of engagement—and ultimately present research-supported policies and reforms for alleviating the underlying causes of political polarization. While most discussion of polarization takes place in separate spheres of journalism and academia, Red and Blue Nation? brings together a unique set of voices with a wide variety of perspectives to enrich our understanding of the issue. Written in a broad, accessible style, it is a resource for anyone interested in the future of electoral politics in America. Contributors include Marc Hetherington and John G. Geer (Vanderbilt University), Deborah Jordan Brooks (Dartmouth College), Martin P. Wattenberg (University of California, Irvine), Barbara Sinclair and Joel D. Aberbach (UCLA), Christopher H. Foreman (University of Maryland), Keith Krehbiel (Stanford University), Sarah A. Binder, Benjamin Wittes, Jonathan Rauch, and William A. Galston (Brookings), Martin Shapiro (University of California–Berkeley), Peter Beinart (Council on Foreign Relations), James Q. Wilson (Pepperdine University), John Ferejohn and Larry Diamond (Hoover Institution), Laurel Harbridge (Stanford University), Andrea L. Campbell (MIT), and Eric M. Patashnik (University of Virginia).

Polarized

Author : James E. Campbell
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Release : 2018-03-27
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780691180861

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Book Polarized Description/Summary:

Many continue to believe that the United States is a nation of political moderates. In fact, it is a nation divided. It has been so for some time and has grown more so. This book provides a new and historically grounded perspective on the polarization of America, systematically documenting how and why it happened. Polarized presents commonsense benchmarks to measure polarization, draws data from a wide range of historical sources, and carefully assesses the quality of the evidence. Through an innovative and insightful use of circumstantial evidence, it provides a much-needed reality check to claims about polarization. This rigorous yet engaging and accessible book examines how polarization displaced pluralism and how this affected American democracy and civil society. Polarized challenges the widely held belief that polarization is the product of party and media elites, revealing instead how the American public in the 1960s set in motion the increase of polarization. American politics became highly polarized from the bottom up, not the top down, and this began much earlier than often thought. The Democrats and the Republicans are now ideologically distant from each other and about equally distant from the political center. Polarized also explains why the parties are polarized at all, despite their battle for the decisive median voter. No subject is more central to understanding American politics than political polarization, and no other book offers a more in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the subject than this one.

Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics

Author : Marc J. Hetherington,Jonathan D. Weiler
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2009-08-24
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781139481007

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Book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics Description/Summary:

Although politics at the elite level has been polarized for some time, a scholarly controversy has raged over whether ordinary Americans are polarized. This book argues that they are and that the reason is growing polarization of worldviews - what guides people's view of right and wrong and good and evil. These differences in worldview are rooted in what Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler describe as authoritarianism. They show that differences of opinion concerning the most provocative issues on the contemporary issue agenda - about race, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the use of force to resolve security problems - reflect differences in individuals' levels of authoritarianism. Events and strategic political decisions have conspired to make all these considerations more salient. The authors demonstrate that the left and the right have coalesced around these opposing worldviews, which has provided politics with more incandescent hues than before.

Divided Politics, Divided Nation

Author : Darrell M. West
Publisher : Brookings Institution Press
Release : 2019-03-26
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780815736929

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Book Divided Politics, Divided Nation Description/Summary:

Why are Americans so angry with each other? The United States is caught in a partisan hyperconflict that divides politicians, communities—and even families. Politicians from the president to state and local office-holders play to strongly-held beliefs and sometimes even pour fuel on the resulting inferno. This polarization has become so intense that many people no longer trust anyone from a differing perspective. Drawing on his personal story of growing up as a fundamentalist Christian on a dairy farm in rural Ohio, then as an academic in the heart of the liberal East Coast establishment, Darrell West analyzes the economic, cultural, and political aspects of polarization. He takes advantage of his experiences inside both conservative and liberal camps to explain the views of each side and offer insights into why each is angry with the other. West argues that societal tensions have metastasized into a dangerous tribalism that seriously threatens U.S. democracy. Unless people can bridge these divisions and forge a new path forward, it will be impossible to work together, maintain a functioning democracy, and solve the country's pressing policy problems.

Solutions to Political Polarization in America

Author : Nathaniel Persily
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2015-04-27
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781316300046

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Book Solutions to Political Polarization in America Description/Summary:

Political polarization dominates discussions of contemporary American politics. Despite widespread agreement that the dysfunction in the political system can be attributed to political polarization, commentators cannot come to a consensus on what that means. The coarseness of our political discourse, the ideological distance between opposing partisans, and, most of all, an inability to pass much-needed and widely supported policies all stem from the polarization in our politics. This volume assembles several top analysts of American politics to focus on solutions to polarization. The proposals range from constitutional change to good-government reforms to measures to strengthen political parties. Each tackles one or more aspects of America's polarization problem. This book begins a serious dialogue about reform proposals to address the obstacles that polarization poses for contemporary governance.

Red and Blue Nation?

Author : Pietro S. Nivola,David W. Brady
Publisher : Brookings Institution Press
Release : 2007-05-01
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780815760849

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Book Red and Blue Nation? Description/Summary:

Analysts and pundits increasingly perceive a widening gulf between "red states" and "blue states." Yet the research to support that perception is scattered and sometimes difficult to parse. America's polarized politics, it is said, poses fundamental dangers for democratic and accountable government. Heightened partisanship is thought to degrade deliberation in Congress and threaten the integrity of other institutions, from the courts to the media. But, how deep do the country's political divisions actually run? Are they truly wreaking havoc upon the social fabric? Has America become a house divided? This important new book, Red and Blue Nation?, gets to the bottom of this perplexing issue. The first of two volumes cosponsored by Brookings and the Hoover Institution carefully considers the extent to which polarized views among political leaders and activists are reflected in the population at large. It pays particular attention to factors such as the increased influence of religion and the changing nature of the media. The authors show that while the severity of the country's "culture wars" is often overstated, significant fissures have opened. In Red and Blue Nation? leading journalists and scholars combine their different insights to enrich our understanding of the issue, offering thoughtful analyses of the underlying problems. This comprehensive and accessible discussion of the polarization debate will be an essential resource for policymakers, scholars, and anyone interested in the health of American public discourse. Contributors include Alan I. Abramowitz (Emory University), David W. Brady (Hoover Institution), Peter Beinart (The New Republic), Sarah A. Binder (Brookings Institution), James Campbell (State University of New York at Buffalo), Carl Cannon (National Journal), E.J. Dionne, Jr. (Brookings Institution), Gregg Easterbrook (Brookings Institution), Thomas B. Edsall (Washington Post), Morris P. Fiorina (Hoover Institution), William A. Galston (Brookings Institution), Hahrie C. Han (Wellesley College), Gary C. Jacobson (University of California, San Diego), Andrew Kohut (Pew Research Center for The People & The Press), Matthew Levendusky (Stanford University), Thomas E. Mann (Brookings Institution), Diana C. Mutz (University of Pennsylvania), Pietro S. Nivola (Brookings Institution), Tom Rosenstiel (Project for Excellence in Journalism), and Alan Wolfe (Boston College).

Polarized America

Author : Nolan McCarty,Keith T. Poole,Howard Rosenthal
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2008-01-25
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780262633611

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Book Polarized America Description/Summary:

An analysis of how the increasing polarization of American politics has been accompanied and accelerated by greater income inequality, rising immigration, and other social and economic changes.

Political Polarization in American Politics

Author : John Sides,Daniel J. Hopkins
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release : 2015-03-12
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781501306273

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Book Political Polarization in American Politics Description/Summary:

Political Polarization in American Politics provides short, accessible chapters about the nature and extent of political polarization within the American public and in American political institutions. These chapters capture the central ideas and debates in political science research on polarization, and are written by leading scholars in this subfield. Each chapter is accompanied by discussion questions and a guide to further reading, making this a great addition to any course looking at issues of polarization.

The New Class War

Author : Michael Lind
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2020-01-21
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780593083703

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Book The New Class War Description/Summary:

In both Europe and North America, populist movements have shattered existing party systems and thrown governments into turmoil. The embattled establishment claims that these populist insurgencies seek to overthrow liberal democracy. The truth is no less alarming but is more complex: Western democracies are being torn apart by a new class war. In this controversial and groundbreaking new analysis, Michael Lind, one of America’s leading thinkers, debunks the idea that the insurgencies are primarily the result of bigotry, traces how the breakdown of mid-century class compromises between business and labor led to the conflict, and reveals the real battle lines. On one side is the managerial overclass—the university-credentialed elite that clusters in high-income hubs and dominates government, the economy and the culture. On the other side is the working class of the low-density heartlands—mostly, but not exclusively, native and white. The two classes clash over immigration, trade, the environment, and social values, and the managerial class has had the upper hand. As a result of the half-century decline of the institutions that once empowered the working class, power has shifted to the institutions the overclass controls: corporations, executive and judicial branches, universities, and the media. The class war can resolve in one of three ways: • The triumph of the overclass, resulting in a high-tech caste system. • The empowerment of populist, resulting in no constructive reforms • A class compromise that provides the working class with real power Lind argues that Western democracies must incorporate working-class majorities of all races, ethnicities, and creeds into decision making in politics, the economy, and culture. Only this class compromise can avert a never-ending cycle of clashes between oligarchs and populists and save democracy.

Party Polarization in Congress

Author : Sean M. Theriault
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2008-08-11
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 113947300X

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Book Party Polarization in Congress Description/Summary:

The political parties in Congress are as polarized as they have been in 100 years. This book examines more than 30 years of congressional history to understand how it is that the Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have become so divided. It finds that two steps were critical for this development. First, the respective parties' constituencies became more politically and ideologically aligned. Second, members ceded more power to their party leaders, who implemented procedures more frequently and with greater consequence. In fact, almost the entire rise in party polarization can be accounted for in the increasing frequency of and polarization on procedures used during the legislative process.

Why Washington Won't Work

Author : Marc J. Hetherington,Thomas J. Rudolph
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Release : 2015-09-14
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780226299358

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Book Why Washington Won't Work Description/Summary:

Polarization is at an all-time high in the United States. But contrary to popular belief, Americans are polarized not so much in their policy preferences as in their feelings toward their political opponents: To an unprecedented degree, Republicans and Democrats simply do not like one another. No surprise that these deeply held negative feelings are central to the recent (also unprecedented) plunge in congressional productivity. The past three Congresses have gotten less done than any since scholars began measuring congressional productivity. In Why Washington Won’t Work, Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph argue that a contemporary crisis of trust—people whose party is out of power have almost no trust in a government run by the other side—has deadlocked Congress. On most issues, party leaders can convince their own party to support their positions. In order to pass legislation, however, they must also create consensus by persuading some portion of the opposing party to trust in their vision for the future. Without trust, consensus fails to develop and compromise does not occur. Up until recently, such trust could still usually be found among the opposition, but not anymore. Political trust, the authors show, is far from a stable characteristic. It’s actually highly variable and contingent on a variety of factors, including whether one’s party is in control, which part of the government one is dealing with, and which policies or events are most salient at the moment. Political trust increases, for example, when the public is concerned with foreign policy—as in times of war—and it decreases in periods of weak economic performance. Hetherington and Rudolph do offer some suggestions about steps politicians and the public might take to increase political trust. Ultimately, however, they conclude that it is unlikely levels of political trust will significantly increase unless foreign concerns come to dominate and the economy is consistently strong.

The Age of Entitlement

Author : Christopher Caldwell
Publisher : Simon & Schuster
Release : 2021-01-05
Category : History
ISBN : 9781501106910

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Book The Age of Entitlement Description/Summary:

A major American intellectual and “one of the right’s most gifted and astute journalists” (The New York Times Book Review) makes the historical case that the reforms of the 1960s, reforms intended to make the nation more just and humane, left many Americans feeling alienated, despised, misled—and ready to put an adventurer in the White House. Christopher Caldwell has spent years studying the liberal uprising of the 1960s and its unforeseen consequences and his conclusion is this: even the reforms that Americans love best have come with costs that are staggeringly high—in wealth, freedom, and social stability—and that have been spread unevenly among classes and generations. Caldwell reveals the real political turning points of the past half-century, taking you on a roller-coaster ride through Playboy magazine, affirmative action, CB radio, leveraged buyouts, iPhones, Oxycotin, Black Lives Matter, and internet cookies. In doing so, he shows that attempts to redress the injustices of the past have left Americans living under two different ideas of what it means to play by the rules. Essential, timely, hard to put down, The Age of Entitlement “is an eloquent and bracing book, full of insight” (New York magazine) about how the reforms of the past fifty years gave the country two incompatible political systems—and drove it toward conflict.

Campaign Finance and Political Polarization

Author : Raymond J La Raja,Brian F Schaffner
Publisher : University of Michigan Press
Release : 2015-10-06
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780472900039

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Book Campaign Finance and Political Polarization Description/Summary:

Efforts to reform the U.S. campaign finance system typically focus on the corrupting influence of large contributions. Yet, as Raymond J. La Raja and Brian F. Schaffner argue, reforms aimed at cutting the flow of money into politics have unintentionally favored candidates with extreme ideological agendas and, consequently, fostered political polarization. Drawing on data from 50 states and the U.S. Congress over 20 years, La Raja and Schaffner reveal that current rules allow wealthy ideological groups and donors to dominate the financing of political campaigns. In order to attract funding, candidates take uncompromising positions on key issues and, if elected, take their partisan views into the legislature. As a remedy, the authors propose that additional campaign money be channeled through party organizations—rather than directly to candidates—because these organizations tend to be less ideological than the activists who now provide the lion’s share of money to political candidates. Shifting campaign finance to parties would ease polarization by reducing the influence of “purist” donors with their rigid policy stances. La Raja and Schaffner conclude the book with policy recommendations for campaign finance in the United States. They are among the few non-libertarians who argue that less regulation, particularly for political parties, may in fact improve the democratic process.