Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics
Tracking trends in American public opinion, this study examines moods of public policy over time. James Stimson looks at shorter term movements as the public approves or disapproves politicians, trusts or distrusts government. His book is distinctive in that it focuses on determining the unobserved true opinion that lies beneath superficial polls. It argues that public opi...more
Paperback, 181 pages
Published September 13th 2004 by Cambridge University Press
(first published July 15th 2004)
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This is a well written book, accessible to the well read layperson. Stimson does a fine job of laying out the thesis that he has elaborated upon in more academic research. On page xvi, he lays out the central theme of this work: "Tracing movements and showing conseuences is the central theme of this book. It claims that change over time is what moves politics. Its design is to look at change over time in many different facets of public preferences, behavior, and response." One disclosure that I...more
In bringing together elements of his earlier work in this book, Jim Stimson demonstrates why he is one of the best in his field. Analytically rigorous yet eminently readable, the result is a cogent examination of the relationship between mass public and government. Key in all of this is his measure of ‘policy mood’ which is one of the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing contributions to the modelling of opinion change over time.