Front cover image for Formative acts : American politics in the making

Formative acts : American politics in the making

"Seventeen essays illuminate critical junctures in American political development - from the social movements for women's suffrage, civil rights, and workers' rights, to Reconstruction, to the regulation of prescription drugs - as vantage points from which to examine how change is enacted. Contributors question not simply how political actors behave but how and to what extent their actions change the American policy itself. At the same time, the transformative act is presented as larger than any one actor or group of actors; often the act of transformation involves many different actors and a panoply of motives." "Three concepts claim center stage: political entrepreneurshipespecially as it directs attention to ambiguity and malleability in the rules of action found in any complex institutional setting; political leadership - specifically the conundrum of democratic leadership; and political agency - particularly the strongly voluntaristic construction of that concept found within American political culture. The authors focus on each of these categories to link the study of political action more effectively to our understanding of the formation and reformation of American government and politics."--book jacket
Print Book, English, ©2007
University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pa., ©2007