Jones, David R. Books
About the author: David R. Jones (PhD University of California, Los Angeles) is assistant professor of political science at Baruch College, CUNY. He specializes in American politics and behavior, congress, and methodology. He has published articles in Political Research Quarterly and The Journal of Legislative Studies.2001 0-7734-7426-9
This book makes both theoretical and empirical contributions to three prominent areas of interest in the field of political science: identifying the causes of legislative gridlock in our national government; the debate over effects of divided government; and concern over increasing polarization of political parties in America. By incorporating the institutional factors of the Senate filibuster and the presidential veto with partisan factors of party polarization and the proportion of seats held by each party, the work articulates a precise theory about when gridlock is likely to occur. Contradicting many prominent accounts, this theory suggests that divided government does not affect gridlock once party polarization and party seat division are taken into account. It conducts a rigorous set of empirical tests which suggest that the author’s theory offers a significant improvement over existing models. The study helps the reader to better understand the conditions under which policy stability and policy change, carries important implications for political scientists contemplating future research, and for government reformers.
An examination of the election of Doug Wilder, first black candidate to win highest office in Virginia. Despite a sizeable lead in the polls, his razor-thin victory over his Republican opponent was unusually poor, close enough to merit a recount. This monograph demonstrates that the underlying cause of this shortfall was racism. In addition, the book concludes by articulating some of the lessons that this election provides for black candidates who run in white majority constituencies.