Verlan Lewis: Ideas of Power

"Now we see through a glass, darkly."

Ideas of Power: The Politics of American Party Ideology Development

By Verlan Lewis

Ideas of PowerThis groundbreaking book challenges the dominant view of ideology held by both political scientists and political commentators. Rather than viewing ideological constructs like liberalism and conservatism as static concepts with fixed and enduring content, Professor Verlan Lewis explains how the very meanings of liberalism and conservatism frequently change along with the ideologies of the two major parties in American politics. Testing a new theory to help explain why party ideologies evolve the way that they do, this book traces the history of American political parties from the Hamiltonian Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans of the 1790s to the liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans of today. Ideas of Power shows us how changing party control of government institutions, such as Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court, influences how party ideologies develop.

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Verlan Lewis is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. His interests include American political institutions and development, political thought, and intellectual history. Lewis’ research focuses on how political institutions and ideas interact over time, and his work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Studies in American Political Development, Presidential Studies Quarterly, The Forum, and The Washington Post.

Lewis is a Jack Miller Center fellow.

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