|Author/Contributor(s):||Hood III, M V ; Kidd, Quentin ; Morris, Irwin L|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
the GOP, especially in the deep South, where large black populations had the potential to dominate state and local Democratic Parties. As a result, Republican Party viability also led to black mobilization. Using the theory of relative advantage, Hood, Kidd, and Morris provide a new perspective on party system transformation. Following a theoretically-informed description of recent partisan dynamics in the South, they demonstrate, with decades of state-level, sub-state, and individual-level data, that GOP organizational strength and black electoral mobilization were the primary determinants of political change in the region. The authors' finding that race was, and still is, the primary driver behind political change in the region stands in stark contrast to recent scholarship which points to in-migration, economic growth, or religious factors as the locus of transition. The Rational Southerner contributes not only to the study of Southern politics, but to our understanding of party system change, racial politics, and the role that state and local political dynamics play in the larger context of national politics and policymaking.