Cover: Bifurcated Politics: Evolution and Reform in the National Party Convention, from Harvard University PressCover: Bifurcated Politics in E-DITION

Bifurcated Politics

Evolution and Reform in the National Party Convention

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674421622

Publication Date: 07/11/1988

391 pages



Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

At once, this book provides us with an intelligent and closely argued analysis of the causes of the declining role of nominating conventions, an overall theoretical concept that ties together its main argument (the notion of bifurcated politics), and an analysis of the larger fabric of contemporary American politics as seen through the ‘window’ of the convention. An ambitious and comprehensive guide to the protean world of presidential selection.—Gary Orren

Byron Shafer has achieved the improbable: this new work of intellectually exciting scholarship excels his landmark Quiet Revolution. A brilliant case study of how purposive political action brings about unintended political and social consequences.—Robert K. Merton

Bifurcated Politics is a fresh and penetrating examination of the national party convention during four decades of fundamental change in the party system. With striking skill and insight, Shafer has written an exemplary institutional analysis, moving from the interplay of altered environmental forces and deliberate ‘reform’ to the ascendancy of organized interests and of the mass media inherent in the weakening political parties. Above all, the book looks at the convention and through it to the changing national politics surrounding it—a rare and valuable contribution to understanding and to constructive reflection.—David B. Truman

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