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Gateways to Democracy 4th Edition

John G. Geer, Richard Herrera, Wendy J. Schiller, Jeffrey A. Segal

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2016
  • 704 Pages
Starting At 80.00 See pricing and ISBN options


GATEWAYS TO DEMOCRACY introduces the American political system to students, pointing out in each chapter the "gateways" that facilitate, or at times block, participation. In emphasizing how the political system works, and how individuals and groups have opened gates to influence public policy, the text helps students see the relevance of government in their lives. The fourth edition provides coverage of the 2016 election, as well as enhanced discussion of diversity and participation that reflects the changing demographic infrastructure in America today.

John G. Geer, Vanderbilt University

John G. Geer (PhD, Princeton University) is vice provost for academic and strategic Affairs, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science, and co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll. Geer has published widely, including In Defense of Negativity, which won the Goldsmith Prize from the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University. Geer has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University and Princeton University. Geer teaches Introduction to American Politics, as well as specialty courses on elections and campaigns. His teaching has won numerous teaching awards at both Arizona State University and Vanderbilt University. Geer is a frequent commentator in the press, with appearances on all the major networks (e.g., Fox News, CBS Evening News, CNN), and he has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the LA Times. He also has done interviews for major international outlets, such as BBC and Al Jazeera.

Richard Herrera, Arizona State University

Richard Herrera (PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara) is associate professor of political science and associate director for the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. He directs the ASU Capital Scholars Washington, DC, Summer Internship program for ASU and coordinates the ASU-McCain Institute for International Leadership Internship Program. He has contributed articles to the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. His current research interests are focused on U.S. governors, their ideology, policy agendas, and representative functions. He teaches courses in American Politics, American Political Parties, and American Politics and Film.

Wendy J. Schiller, Brown University

Wendy Schiller (PhD, University of Rochester) is a professor of political science, international and public affairs at Brown University (Twitter account @profwschiller). She was legislative assistant for Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, a federal lobbyist for Governor Mario M. Cuomo, a guest scholar and PhD fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University. She has published Electing the Senate: Indirect Democracy before the Seventeenth Amendment (2015) with Charles Stewart III, The Contemporary Congress (2003, 2005, 2015) with Burdett Loomis, and Partners and Rivals: Representation in U.S. Senate Delegations (2000), She teaches courses on a wide range of American politics topics, including Introduction to the American Political Process, The American Presidency, Congress and Public Policy, Parties and Interest Groups, and The Philosophy of the American Founding. Professor Schiller is a political analyst for local and national media outlets, including Bloomberg Radio, NPR, and WJAR10, the local NBC affiliate in Providence.

Jeffrey A. Segal, Stony Brook University

Jeffrey A. Segal (PhD, Michigan State University) is SUNY Distinguished Professor and chair of the political science department at Stony Brook University. He has served as Senior Visiting Research Scholar at Princeton University and held a Guggenheim Fellowship. Segal is best known, with Harold Spaeth, as the leading proponent of the attitudinal model of Supreme Court decision-making. Segal has twice won the Wadsworth Award for a book (with Spaeth) or article 10 years or older with lasting influence on law and courts. He has also won the C. Herman Pritchett Award (again with Spaeth) for best book on law and courts. His work on the influence of strategic factors on Supreme Court decision-making won the Franklin Burdette Award from APSA. With Lee Epstein, Kevin Quinn, and Andrew Martin, he won Green Bag's award for exemplary legal writing. He has also won a national award sponsored by the American Bar Association for innovative teaching and instructional methods and materials in law and courts.
  • A dedicated focus on diversity and participation reflects the changing demographic infrastructure in America today.
  • A new Election 2016 feature gives context to the chapter's subject. Topics include the changing and frustrated electorate, the role of the media, and the partisan inclinations of Latinos.
  • A new Political Analytics feature in each chapter prepares students to evaluate the vast amounts of data present in today's political discourse. The feature asks students to look closely at visual representations of data and to think critically about what they see.
  • Expanded information about the Tea Party, Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and factions in the Republican Party.
  • Coverage of Hillary Clinton's quest to become the first female U.S. president.
  • An expanded section on protest politics, including the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Discussion of how the Supreme Court has changed and may lean differently after Justice Antonin Scalia's passing.
  • New information about recent Supreme Court cases and their ramifications, such as Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) and same-sex marriage.
  • New opening chapter vignettes featuring Oregon Governor Kate Brown, author Ta-Nehisi Coates, Utah Rep. Mia Love, former President Barack Obama, Los Angeles CAO Miguel Santana, and Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer.
  • To promote student engagement, chapter-opening vignettes spotlight individuals who have successfully navigated their own way in politics. The important role of the vignette for the instructor is to show students how people like them have made a difference in American political and social life. Vignette subjects vary by historical era, career choice, gender, race, ethnicity, and party affiliation.
  • Policy coverage appears in a section in each chapter and in a stand-alone chapter at the end of the book, allowing instructors to focus on policy as much or as little as they wish. Each chapter highlights a domestic, economic, or foreign policy issue related to the chapter subject. Students learn how policies such as minimum wage and national security surveillance are a product of the policymaking process, and how that process can serve as a gateway to citizen participation. "Construct Your Own Policy" exercises ask students to consider how they would use what they've learned to affect policy-making.
  • Each chapter features a Supreme Court case to illustrate the constitutional and legal context in which American democracy has evolved. Critical-thinking questions at the end of the feature tie the case to the chapter's content and the book's themes of gateways, responsiveness, and equality.
  • Questions in the text's margins and interpretive questions at the end of each chapter ask students to summarize and apply what they have learned about American democracy and evaluate our democratic system in terms of responsiveness and equality. These features sharpen students' analytical skills and encourage them to begin evaluating the success of the American system.
  • This edition presents an in-depth look at emerging issues such as same-sex marriage laws, the legalization of marijuana, and the impact of partisanship on Congress.
1. Gateways to American Democracy. 
2. The Constitution. 
3. Federalism. 
4. Civil Liberties. 
5. Civil Rights. 
6. Public Opinion. 
7. The News and Social Media.
8. Interest Groups. 
9. Political Parties. 
10. Elections and Campaigns. 
11. Voting and Participation. 
12. Congress. 
13. The Presidency. 
14. The Bureaucracy. 
15. The Judiciary.
16. Economic, Domestic, and Foreign Policy.
A. The Declaration of Independence.
B. The Constitution of the United States.
C. Federalist Papers 10 and 51.
Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

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  • ISBN-10: 1337098698
  • ISBN-13: 9781337098694
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $80.00
  • RETAIL $80.00

Digital Access + Print — Flexible Value

Recommended and most popular

  • ISBN-10: 1337576476
  • ISBN-13: 9781337576475
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $75.00
  • RETAIL $99.95

  • ISBN-10: 1337581933
  • ISBN-13: 9781337581936
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  • ISBN-10: 1337659630
  • ISBN-13: 9781337659635
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  • ISBN-10: 133709773X
  • ISBN-13: 9781337097734
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $112.50
  • RETAIL $149.95

"Gateways to Democracy is a great all-around book that is one of the most effective educational tools for United States government on the market today."

"The greatest strength is the superb content offered in this textbook -- the authors expertly incorporate issues-of-the-day into the chapters, link important court cases to key concepts addressed in the chapters, and offer diverse perspectives throughout."

"One of the greatest strengths is the frame the authors use. There is clearly a sincere effort to communicate that there are roadblocks or 'gates,' which block competent and justice governance. But the book is not overly cynical and keeps reminding students of the "gateways" or avenues by which change can be realized."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor's Website

ISBN: 9781337098731
Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of product-specific lecture and class tools is available online via the instructor resource center at

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781337098915
Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.