The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

Synopsis

The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics is an eight-volume set of reference books offering authoritative and engaging critical overviews of the state of scholarship on American politics. Each volume focuses on a particular aspect of the field. The project is under the General Editorship of George C. Edwards III, and distinguished specialists in their respective fields edit each volume. The handbooks aim not just to report on the discipline, but also to shape it as scholars critically assess the current state of scholarship on a topic and propose directions in which it needs to move. The series is an indispensable reference for anyone working in American politics. The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups is a major new volume that will help scholars assess the current state of scholarship on parties and interest groups and the directions in which it needs to move. Never before has the academic literature on political parties received such an extended treatment. Twenty nine chapters critically assess both the major contributions to the literature and the ways in which it has developed. With contributions from most of the leading scholars in the field, the volume provides a definitive point of reference for all those working in and around the area. Equally important, the authors also identify areas of new and interesting research. These chapters offer a distinctive point of view, an argument about the successes and failures of past scholarship, and a set of recommendations about how future work ought to develop. This volume will help set the agenda for research on political parties and interest groups for the next decade. General Editor for The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics: George C. Edwards III

Excerpt

Handbooks have long played an important role in many disciplines. In medicine and the sciences in particular, they are invaluable compendiums of the most recent and reliable scholarship. It’s fair to say that handbooks have not played the same role in political science. Occasionally a handbook has emerged and enjoyed a well-deserved half-life as an important overview and commentary on one of our subfields. Nevertheless, there is no tradition in our discipline of periodic handbooks that aggregate the most important recent work and stand as signposts in the development of political science.

This is unfortunate. Handbooks not only tell us where we’ve been but how well we’ve been accomplishing our scholarly objectives. Most presumptuously—the Brits might say “cheekily”—handbooks can point toward the paths we should follow in our next research projects.

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