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date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The study of American political development—APD—emerged in the early 1980s as an insurgent movement and has since fed back into the subfield of American politics in far-reaching ways. Rather than outsource historical analysis to historians, APD brings the idea that “history matters” into the center of political analysis and prizes fresh answers to questions that are never taken for granted within APD: what actually happened in the political past, and, equally important, how do our answers to “what happened?” in turn recast how we think about the political present and indeed give us powerful ways to understand what contemporary phenomena are cases of?

Keywords: history, ideas, institutions, the state, political behavior, policy feedback, identity formation, civic status, cycles, descriptive inference

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