The Routledge series, “Politics and Policy in American Institutions” strives to show the interaction of American political institutions within the context of public policy-making. A public policy approach often by definition is all-encompassing. Admittedly, my own interests focus on national policy-making, but the series will also include works on all levels of government. Indeed, I do not want my own specialties to define the series. Therefore, we seek solid scholarship incorporating a wide range of actors, including those outside the usual definition of government actors. The policy concerns, too, are potentially quite broad, with special interests in the policy process and such substantive issue areas as foreign and defense policy, economic and budget policy, health care, social welfare, racial politics, and the environment. The series will publish a considerable range of works, ranging from upper division texts to scholarly monographs, including both hard and soft cover editions.
Some might argue that we do not need another edited book on the topic of divided government. However, Politics in an Era of Divided Government concentrates on elections and governance during the second Clinton administration. In this valuable collection of original essays, editor Harvey L. Schantz focuses heavily on the results and the aftermath of the 1996 elections of Congress and the president. The volume covers party nominations, the general election, and subsequent government organization, arguing that these three processes are highly interrelated. The individual authors describe events but also make provocative arguments about the implications of elections for government structure and policy-making.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Politics in an Era of Divided Government finds a blurred boundary between elections and governance. At the end of the volume, Schantz sets the stage for the 2000 congressional and presidential elections. He contends that “impeachment and electoral politics have overshadowed policy during the second Clinton administration.” As the first