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Congress and the Decline of Public Trust : Transforming American Politics - Joseph Cooper

Congress and the Decline of Public Trust

Transforming American Politics

Paperback Published: 3rd September 1999
ISBN: 9780813368382
Number Of Pages: 255

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Since the time of Watergate and Vietnam, trust in government has fallen precipitously. This can easily be sensed in the apathy and divisiveness that now characterize American politics, but it is perhaps most clearly revealed in poll data. The great majority of Americans do not trust the government "to do what's right all or most of the time." Nor do they believe that government is run for "the benefit of all" rather than for "a few big interests." The nine essays in this volume detail the present character of distrust, analyze its causes, assess the dangers it poses for the future of representative government in the United States, and suggest remedies.The focus of the analysis is on Congress because of its pivotal role in representative government in the United States. The authors also examine patterns of trust in societal institutions and trust in the Presidency, especially in light of the Clinton impeachment controversy. Because the causes and effects of distrust are complex and pervasive, the individual chapters highlight many of the defining features and issues of contemporary American politics. These include the emergence of a politics that is far more ideological, candidate centered, and captive to interest groups, the changing character and enhanced importance of the media, the mounting costs of campaigns, the contradictions in public attitudes toward political leaders and processes, the causes and consequences of public misconceptions of democratic politics, and the need for reform in campaign finance, media practices, and civic education.

Transforming American Politicsp. ii
Tables and Figuresp. ix
Foreword: Trust and Democracy: Causes and Consequences of Mistrust of Governmentp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
The Puzzle of Distrustp. 1
Insiders with a Crisis from Outsidep. 27
Appreciating Congressp. 43
Congress and Public Trustp. 65
How Good People Make Bad Collectivesp. 79
Congress, Public Trust, and Educationp. 101
Performance and Expectations in American Politicsp. 131
Epilogue: The Clinton Impeachment Controversy and Public Trustp. 169
Appendix: Trends in Public Trust: 1952-1998p. 185
About the Editor and Contributorsp. 215
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780813368382
ISBN-10: 0813368383
Series: Transforming American Politics
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 255
Published: 3rd September 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 1