Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity Lilliana Mason, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018, pp. 192.

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2019-12-01
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Peterson, David
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Political Science
The Department of Political Science has been a separate department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly the College of Sciences and Humanities) since 1969 and offers an undergraduate degree (B.A.) in political science, a graduate degree (M.A.) in political science, a joint J.D./M.A. degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in cyber security, and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, it provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.
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Lilliana Mason's Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity is easily the best book on American politics I have read in years. I mean this in two important ways. First, the book tackles what may be the most pressing question in politics: Why has the American public become increasing polarized? The answer—that the increasing overlap between identities changes the way that citizens see themselves and others—provides a clear understanding of polarization. But this is not only an important book, it is a good book. Mason constructs a careful argument, grounded in social psychology, and each chapter in the book builds sequentially on the previous ones. The result is a book that is more than the sum of the parts and represents a major advance in the field. I lost count of the number of times where Mason demonstrates a point that clearly articulated some previously unintelligible hunch I had about politics. There are few books that make this type of contribution to a vital question in the way that Uncivil Agreement does.

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This is a manuscript of a book review published as Peterson, David A.M. "Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity Lilliana Mason, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018, pp. 192." Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique 52, no. 4 (2019): 961-962. DOI: 10.1017/S0008423919000076. Posted with permission.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019
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