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Brandeis University Spring 2014

POL 121 Martin A. Levin


Week 1 Prologue-- The Age of Reagan (And His Heir) – 1980-1992: Tax Cuts, Deregulation, Deficit Production

King, “The American Polity in the late 1970s: Building Coalitions in Sand”

Wilson, “Politics Then & Now”

Landy and Levin, “Preface” and "The New Politics of Public Policymaking" in Landy & Levin, New Politics of Policymaking

James Q. Wilson, "New Politics, New Elites, Old Politics", in Landy and Levin

Schuck, “The Politics of Rapid Legal Change: Immigration Policy in the 1980s”

Week 2 The Age of Perot: The Third Party Split in the 1992 Election Brings us the Age of Clinton

Lubell, The Future of American Politics, “The Sun and Moon Theory of American Political Parties”

Week 3 The Age of Clinton and The Age of Gingrich and the New Pattern of Frequent Alternation in Closely Competitive Elections --1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2010.

Mayhew , “Much Huffing and Puffing, Little Change”

Levin and Landy , “Durability and Change”

Week 4 The Age of Moderate Innovations: Welfare Reform, Deficit Reduction, NAFTA and The Age of Perot Redux—the 1996 Election and the Impeachment Blues Cured by a Coalition with a Few Republicans

Teles, Whose Welfare: AFDC and Elite Politics, Chapters 1,3-5, 8-9

Teles and Prinz, “The Politics of Rights Retraction: Welfare Reform from Entitlement to Block Grant” in Seeking the Center.

Martin , Cathie Jo , “ Dead on Arrival: The New Politics of Health Care Reform in the Clinton Administration “

Week 5 The Age of An Electoral Split Decision—the 2000 Election and More Third Party Influence

Levin, Shapiro & Disalvo, Building Coalitions, Making Policy: The

Politics of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Presidencies, Introduction and Chapter 1 (Levin, Emer, & DiSalvo)

Week 6 The Age of 9/11 and its Foreign and Domestic Effects : Iraq, Afghanistan , and the Patriot Act followed by Social Security Privatization, An Underfunded Expansion of Drug Coverage for Medicare , and Tax Cuts

Lindsay, “National Security, the Electoral Connection, and Policy Choice” in Levin, Shapiro, & Disalvo

Week 7 The Age of Bush and the Stealth Politics of Indirection: A Domestic Version of the Voodoo Dance of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Emer, “A Feint to the Center but Moving Backwards: Bush’s Clear Skies Environmental Policies and Non-Policies” in Levin, Shapiro, and DiSalvo

Week 8 Policies to Serve the Business Providers to Government: Pillaging from the Right After a Feint to the Center

Levin, Shapiro & Disalvo, Building Coalitions, Making Policy: The

Politics of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Presidencies

Shapiro, “Bush’s ‘Our Crowd’”

Weaver, “The Privatization of Social Security

Oberlander “Medicare Prescription Drug Reform”

Tichenor, “Bush’s Immigration Reform Failure”

Hess, “Compassionate Conservatism and No Child Left Behind”

Conlan, “Politics of Tax Reduction in the Bush Administration”

Week 9 An Age of Frequent and Surprising Alternations in Power Redux --the 2002 and 2006 Elections

Wildavsky, “The Two Presidencies— Foreign and Domestic “

Week 10 The Age of Obama: Healthcare Reform, Dodd-Frank Financial Reform, and the Fiscal Stimulus Package

Levin, Shapiro & Disalvo, Building Coalitions, Making Policy

Oberlander, “Learning from the Clinton Healthcare Reform Failure”

Tichenor, “Obama’s Immigration Reform Failure”

Week 11 And Again, An Age of More Frequent Alternations in Power: The 2010 Election Brings Us the Republican Coalition Building Strategy –‘Just Say No’

Levin, Shapiro & DiSalvo, Building Coalitions, Making Policy

Mayhew, “Politics, Elections and Policymaking”

Week 12 The Age of a Surprising 2010 Lame Duck Session: A New Republican Strategy –‘ Just Say Yes’ If It Involves Tax Cuts and Help for Business

Levin, Shapiro & DiSalvo, Building Coalitions, Making Policy

Levin, Emer and DiSalvo, “Some New Coalitional Configurations and Policies: The Surprising 2010 Lame Duck Session”

Mayhew, “The End Note of Obama’s First Two Years: The 2010 Lame Duck Session

Week 13 The Age of the Deficit Reduction Follies: ‘Just Say No’ Redux

“Does Obama Really Like this Job?”: Alter, The Promise: President Obama, Y


Keller, The Unbearable Heaviness of Governing: Obama in Historical Perspective, Intro, Chapters 1, 3-5 .

“The Bipartisanship Fantasy Dream Machine: Obama wants to be President of a Country that Doesn’t Exist”: Wolffe, R: Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House.

“Obama and the Failure To Exert Power: Faubus and Netanyahu ; MacArthur and McCrystal”: Neustadt, Presidential Power

Levin, “A Politics of Institutions” in Davis, The Post-Imperial Presidency