American Government: Institutions and Policies, Brief Version 13th Edition

James Q. Wilson | John J. Dilulio | Meena Bose | Matthew S. Levendusky

  • Copyright 2018
  • Published
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This popular brief text for the one-semester or one-quarter American Government course maintains the framework of the Wilson, DiIulio, Bose, and Levendusky comprehensive volume, emphasizing the historical development of the American political system, who governs, and to what ends. The 13th edition of AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: INSTITUTIONS AND POLICIES, BRIEF VERSION, offers coverage of the 2014 and 2016 campaigns and elections; budget battles and the sequestration of funds; ongoing debates about immigration, gay marriage, and other key issues in American politics; and foreign-policy decisions on Afghanistan, the Middle East, and North Korea. Each chapter now focuses on a clear set of learning objectives to guide students through the material.

Meet the Author

James Q. Wilson, University of California

James Q. Wilson most recently taught at Boston College and Pepperdine University. He was Professor Emeritus of Management and Public Administration at UCLA and was previously Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University. He wrote more than a dozen books on the subjects of public policy, bureaucracy, and political philosophy. He was president of the American Political Science Association (APSA), and he is the only political scientist to win three of the four lifetime achievement awards presented by the APSA. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 2003. Professor Wilson passed away in March of 2012 after battling cancer. His work helped shape the field of political science in the United States. His many years of service to this textbook remain evident on every page and will continue for many editions to come.

John J. Dilulio,

John J. DiIulio, Jr. is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and has won each of Penn's most prestigious teaching awards. He was previously Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He has been a senior fellow and directed research programs at several leading think tanks including the Brookings Institution and has won awards from the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, the American Political Science Association, and other bodies. He has advised presidential candidates in both parties, served on bipartisan government reform commissions, and worked as a senior staff member in the White House.

Meena Bose, Hofstra University

Meena Bose is executive dean for public policy and public service programs in the Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs at Hofstra University. She also is director of Hofstra’s Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 from Princeton University. Dr. Bose teaches courses on the American presidency, presidential leadership and policy making, and American politics. She is the author or editor of several volumes in presidency studies and American politics. She taught for six years at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Matthew S. Levendusky, University of Pennsylvania

Matthew S. Levendusky is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford University, and his B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on understanding how institutions and elites influence the political behavior of ordinary citizens, including studies of mass polarization, the effects of partisan media, and various other topics. His work has been honored with a number of awards, including the 2011 Jewell-Lowenberg Award (for the best article published in Legislative Studies Quarterly), the 2013 best paper award from the Journal of Politics, the 2014 Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard University's Shorenstein Center (for How Partisan Media Polarize America), and the 2016 Erik Erikson Early Career Award from the International Society of Political Psychology.

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Features & Benefits

  • This concise, affordable text covers the essential concepts of American government and is known for its outstanding scholarship, strong historical coverage, and focus on institutions and policy. The text is streamlined to focus on the core essentials of A
  • Students learn to think critically and synthesize the material through the text's chapter-opening Learning Objectives, which are framed as questions and reviewed at the end of each chapter, and through a conversational narrative that expands on the classi
  • The "Constitutional Connections" feature in each chapter raise analytical issues from the constitutional debates that remain relevant today, prompting students to think about topics they'll encounter as essay questions on their exams—and as citizens.
  • The "How We Compare" features show how other nations around the world structure their governments and policies in relation to the U.S. and ask students to think about the results of these differences.
  • The "Landmark Cases" feature highlight the most important court cases and provide brief overviews of their decisions.
  • Numerous colorful figures, tables, and photographs engage students and bring concepts to life, while end-of-chapter "Online Resources" and "Suggested Readings" point students toward further application and enrichment.

Table of Contents

American Government: Institutions and Policies, Brief Version


1. The Study of American Government.
2. The Constitution.
3. Federalism.
4. Civil Liberties.
5. Civil Rights.
6. Public Opinion and the Media.
7. Political Parties and Interest Groups.
8. Elections and Campaigns.
9. Congress.
10. The Presidency.
11. The Bureaucracy.
12. The Judiciary.
13. Domestic Policy.
14. Foreign and Military Policy.
15. American Democracy, Then and Now.
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