Matt Grossmann Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945

Oxford University Press, 2014

by Heath Brown on September 1, 2014

Matt Grossmann

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Political ScienceMatt Grossmann is back on the podcast with his newest book, Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 2014). Grossmann is associate professor of political science at Michigan State University. He is also author of The Not-So-Special Interests, for which he appeared on the podcast in 2012.

In Artists of the Possible, Grossman ponders who moves policy? Is it an enraged public or talking heads on TV? Grossmann suggests that neither public opinion nor media attention explain much about what happens in national policy making. Instead, governing networks – work between legislators, executives, and interest groups – drives most policy making. He relies on the careful coding of policy histories starting in 1945. Grossmann ends his book by writing: “The best bet in Washington politics is always on the status quo… “Not much” is still the best answer for what might happen over the next decade.”

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