Congress as Public Enemy

Congress as Public Enemy : Public Attitudes Toward American Political Institutions

3.33 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This timely book describes and explains the American people's alleged hatred of their own branch of government, the US Congress. Intensive focus group sessions held across the country and a specially designed national survey indicate that much of the negativity is generated by popular perceptions of the processes of governing visible in Congress. John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse argue that, although the public is deeply disturbed by debate, compromise, delicate pace, the presence of interest groups, and the professionalization of politics, many of these traits are actually endemic to modern democratic government. Congress is an enemy of the public partially because it is so public. Calls for reform, such as term limitations, reflect the public's desire to attack these disliked features. But the authors conclude, the public's unwitting desire to reform democracy out of a democratic legislature is a cure more dangerous than the disease.show more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 13 b/w illus.
  • 1139174460
  • 9781139174466

Review quote

"...Congress as Public Enemy is an important and timely report that should be of interest to anyone who studies public opinion, attitude measurement (especially in terms of the complementary use of survey research and focus groups), or American politics generally." Stephen C. Craig, American Political Science Review "This excellent piece of research and analysis gives much to think about as we focus on maintaining public support of our political institutions." W.K. Hall, Choice "This excellent piece of research and analysis gives much to think about as we focus on maintaining public support of our political institutions." W.K. Hall, Choiceshow more

Table of contents

List of figures; List of tables; Preface; 1. Introduction: what is wrong with the American political system?; 2. Changing levels of support for individual institutions; 3. Perceptions of political institutions; 4. Perceptions of congressional features and reforms; 5. Focus groups and perceptions of the Washington system; 6. Who approves of congress?; 7. Support for democratic processes; 8. Conclusion: the people and their political system; Appendix; References; Index.show more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
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4 33% (3)
3 67% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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