The Marketplace of Democracy

Author: Michael P. McDonald
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815755813
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Since 1998, U.S. House incumbents have won a staggering 98 percent of their reelection races. Electoral competition has also declined in some state and primary elections. The Marketplace for Democracy combines the resources of two eminent research organizations—Brookings and the Cato Institute—to address several important questions about our democratic system. How pervasive is the lack of competition in arenas only previously speculated on, such as state legislative contests and congressional primaries? What have previous reform efforts, such as direct primaries and term limits, had on electoral competition? What are the effects of redistricting and campaign finance regulation? What role do third parties play? In sum, what does all this tell us about what might be done to increase electoral competition? The authors, including a number of today's most important scholars in American politics, consider the historical development, legal background, and political aspects of a system that is supposed to be responsive and accountable yet for many is becoming stagnant, self-perpetuating, and tone-deaf. How did we get to this point, and what—if anything—should be done about it? Elections are the vehicles through which Americans choose who governs them, and the power of the ballot is still the best lever ordinary citizens have in keeping public officials accountable. The Marketplace of Democracy considers different policy options for increasing the competition needed to keep American politics vibrant, responsive, and democratic. Contributors include Stephen Ansolabehere (MIT), William D. Berry (Florida State University), Bruce Cain (University of California–Berkeley), Thomas Carsey (Florida StateUniversity) James Gimpel (University of Maryland) John Hanley (UC–Berkeley), John Mark Hansen (University of Chicago), Paul S. Herrnson (University of Maryland) Gary Jacobson (University of California–San Diego) Thad Kousser (UC–San Diego), Frances Lee (University of Maryland), John Matsusaka (University of Southern California), Kenneth Mayer (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Michael P. McDonald (Brookings Institution and George Mason University), Jeffrey Milyo (University of Missouri–Columbia), Richard Niemi (University of Rochester) Nate Persily (University of Pennsylvania Law School), Lynda Powell (University of Rochester), David Primo (University of Rochester), John Samples (Cato Institute), and James Snyder Jr. (MIT).

Protest Politics in the Marketplace

Author: Caroline Heldman
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781501715402
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Protest Politics in the Marketplace examines how social media has revolutionized the use and effectiveness of consumer activism. In her groundbreaking book, Caroline Heldman emphasizes that consumer activism is a democratizing force that improves political participation, self-governance, and the accountability of corporations and the government. She also investigates the use of these tactics by conservatives. Heldman analyzes the democratic implications of boycotting, socially responsible investing, social media campaigns, and direct consumer actions, highlighting the ways in which such consumer activism serves as a countervailing force against corporate power in politics. In Protest Politics in the Marketplace, she blends democratic theory with data, historical analysis, and coverage of consumer campaigns for civil rights, environmental conservation, animal rights, gender justice, LGBT rights, and other causes. Using an inter-disciplinary approach applicable to political theorists and sociologists, Americanists, and scholars of business, the environment, and social movements, Heldman considers activism in the marketplace from the Boston Tea Party to the present. In doing so, she provides readers with a clearer understanding of the new, permanent environment of consumer activism in which they operate.

Controlling the Electoral Marketplace

Author: Joost van Spanje
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331958202X
Format: PDF
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This book studies how established political parties react to the far left and far right parties that have surged in many democracies worldwide. While some of the extremist parties are being imitated in response, established parties can also choose to systematically rule out all political cooperation with them, imposing a cordon sanitaire. A third response by established parties combines these two reactions. How common are these three responses, and how do they affect far left and far right parties’ electoral support? This book addresses these questions by analyzing experimental and non-experimental data from fifteen European countries since 1944. In doing so, it informs scientific and public debates about challenges to established parties, how these parties deal with these challenges, and what the consequences are for the quality of democracy in contemporary democratic societies.

Democracy Expertise and Academic Freedom

Author: Robert C. Post
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 030014864X
Format: PDF, Docs
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A leading American legal scholar offers a surprising account of the incompleteness of prevailing theories of freedom of speech. Robert C. Post shows that the familiar understanding of the First Amendment, which stresses the "marketplace of ideas" and which holds that "everyone is entitled to an opinion," is inadequate to create and preserve the expert knowledge that is necessary for a modern democracy to thrive. For a modern society reliably to answer such questions as whether nicotine causes cancer, the free and open exchange of ideas must be complemented by standards of scientific competence and practice that are both hierarchical and judgmental. Post develops a theory of First Amendment rights that seeks to explain both the need for the free formation of public opinion and the need for the distribution and creation of expertise. Along the way he offers a new and useful account of constitutional doctrines of academic freedom. These doctrines depend both upon free expression and the necessity of the kinds of professional judgment that universities exercise when they grant or deny tenure, or that professional journals exercise when they accept or reject submissions.

The Life and Death of Democracy

Author: John Keane
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1847377602
Format: PDF, Kindle
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John Keane's The Life and Death of Democracy will inspire and shock its readers. Presenting the first grand history of democracy for well over a century, it poses along the way some tough and timely questions: can we really be sure that democracy had its origins in ancient Greece? How did democratic ideals and institutions come to have the shape they do today? Given all the recent fanfare about democracy promotion, why are many people now gripped by the feeling that a bad moon is rising over all the world's democracies? Do they indeed have a future? Or is perhaps democracy fated to melt away, along with our polar ice caps? The work of one of Britain's leading political writers, this is no mere antiquarian history. Stylishly written, this superb book confronts its readers with an entirely fresh and irreverent look at the past, present and future of democracy. It unearths the beginnings of such precious institutions and ideals as government by public assembly, votes for women, the secret ballot, trial by jury and press freedom. It tracks the changing, hotly disputed meanings of democracy and describes quite a few of the extraordinary characters, many of them long forgotten, who dedicated their lives to building or defending democracy. And it explains why democracy is still potentially the best form of government on earth -- and why democracies everywhere are sleepwalking their way into deep trouble.

Electoral Systems and Democracy

Author: Larry Diamond
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801884740
Format: PDF
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As the number of democracies has increased around the world, a heated debate has emerged among political scientists about which system best promotes the consolidation of democracy. This book compares the experiences of diverse countries, from Latin America to southern Africa, from Uruguay, Japan, and Taiwan to Israel, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Rude Democracy

Author: Susan Herbst
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: 1439903379
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Democracy is, by its very nature, often rude. But there are limits to how uncivil we should be. In her timely and important book, Rude Democracy, Susan Herbst explores the ways we discuss public policy, how we treat each other as we do, and how we can create a more civil national culture. Herbst uses the examples of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama to illustrate her case. She scrutinizes Palin as both victim and perpetrator of incivility, including close analysis of her speeches on the 2008 campaign trail, the tone at her rallies, and her interactions with her audience. Turning to Barack Obama, Herbst argues that a key 2009 speech reveals much about his own perspective on American civility as it pertains to contentious issues such as abortion, and notes, too, what the controversy surrounding the speech reveals about the nature of public opinion in the United States. She also dissects Palin’s and Obama’s roles in the 2009 health care debate. Finally, in a fascinating chapter, Herbst examines how young people come to form their own attitudes about civility and political argument. In Rude Democracy, Susan Herbst insists that Americans need to recognize the bad tendencies and habits we have developed, use new media for more effective debate, and develop a tougher and more strategic political skin. She urges us to boost both the intelligence and productivity of our debates, noting that the effort demands a commitment to the nature of argument itself. Rude Democracy outlines a plan for moving forward and creating a more civil climate for American politics.