The People Vs. Democracy

Why Our Freedom is in Danger and how to Save it

Author: Yascha Mounk

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674976827

Category: Authoritarianism

Page: 400

View: 6152

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From India to Turkey, from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. Two core components of liberal democracy--individual rights and the popular will--are at war, putting democracy itself at risk. In plain language, Yascha Mounk describes how we got here, where we need to go, and why there is little time left to waste.

How Democracies Die

Author: Steven Levitsky,Daniel Ziblatt

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 1524762938

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 1277

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Fateful alliances -- Gatekeeping in America -- The great Republican abdication -- Subverting democracy -- The guardrails of democracy -- The unwritten rules of American politics -- The unraveling -- Trump against the guardrails -- Saving democracy

America's Mission

The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy

Author: Tony Smith

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691154929

Category: History

Page: 505

View: 1284

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America's Mission argues that the global strength and prestige of democracy today are due in large part to America's impact on international affairs. Tony Smith documents the extraordinary history of how American foreign policy has been used to try to promote democracy worldwide, an effort that enjoyed its greatest triumphs in the occupations of Japan and Germany but suffered huge setbacks in Latin America, Vietnam, and elsewhere. With new chapters and a new introduction and epilogue, this expanded edition also traces U.S. attempts to spread democracy more recently, under presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, and assesses America's role in the Arab Spring.

Against Elections

Author: David Van Reybrouck

Publisher: Seven Stories Press

ISBN: 1609808118

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 4867

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A small book with great weight and urgency to it, this is both a history of democracy and a clarion call for change. "Without drastic adjustment, this system cannot last much longer," writes Van Reybrouck, regarded today as one of Europe's most astute thinkers. "If you look at the decline in voter turnout and party membership, and at the way politicians are held in contempt, if you look at how difficult it is to form governments, how little they can do and how harshly they are punished for it, if you look at how quickly populism, technocracy and anti-parliamentarianism are rising, if you look at how more and more citizens are longing for participation and how quickly that desire can tip over into frustration, then you realize we are up to our necks." Not so very long ago, the great battles of democracy were fought for the right to vote. Now, Van Reybrouck writes, "it's all about the right to speak, but in essence it's the same battle, the battle for political emancipation and for democratic participation. We must decolonize democracy. We must democratize democracy." As history, Van Reybrouck makes the compelling argument that modern democracy was designed as much to preserve the rights of the powerful and keep the masses in line, as to give the populace a voice. As change-agent, Against Elections makes the argument that there are forms of government, what he terms sortitive or deliberative democracy, that are beginning to be practiced around the world, and can be the remedy we seek. In Iceland, for example, deliberative democracy was used to write the new constitution. A group of people were chosen by lot, educated in the subject at hand, and then were able to decide what was best, arguably, far better than politicians would have. A fascinating, and workable idea has led to a timely book to remind us that our system of government is a flexible instrument, one that the people have the power to change.

How Democracy Ends

Author: David Runciman

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 1541616790

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 3047

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How will democracy end? And what will replace it? A preeminent political scientist examines the past, present, and future of an endangered political philosophy Since the end of World War II, democracy's sweep across the globe seemed inexorable. Yet today, it seems radically imperiled, even in some of the world's most stable democracies. How bad could things get? In How Democracy Ends, David Runciman argues that we are trapped in outdated twentieth-century ideas of democratic failure. By fixating on coups and violence, we are focusing on the wrong threats. Our societies are too affluent, too elderly, and too networked to fall apart as they did in the past. We need new ways of thinking the unthinkable--a twenty-first-century vision of the end of democracy, and whether its collapse might allow us to move forward to something better. A provocative book by a major political philosopher, How Democracy Ends asks the most trenchant questions that underlie the disturbing patterns of our contemporary political life.

Does Democracy Matter?

The United States and Global Democracy Support

Author: Adrian Basora,Agnieszka Marczyk,Maia Otarashvili

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1538101866

Category: Political Science

Page: 222

View: 2441

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Confidence in the future of democracy has been shaken by the authoritarian resurgence of the past decade, and some now argue that it is not realistic for the US to continue to champion democracy abroad. Does Democracy Matter? provides the conclusions of eleven scholars from widely different backgrounds who ask whether and, if so, how the US should support democracy beyond its own borders. The authors agree that American strategic interests are served in the long run by the spread of democracy abroad, but they differ as to how this support meshes with other national security goals. The concluding chapter outlines a system of triage for realistically assessing where and how such assistance can be effective in promoting US security interests. Contributions by Adrian A. Basora, Sarah Bush, Larry Diamond, Carl Gershman, Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Melinda Haring, Michal Kořan, Richard Kraemer, Agnieszka Marczyk, Tsveta Petrova, and Kenneth Yalowitz.

Against Democracy

Author: Jason Brennan

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888395

Category: Philosophy

Page: 312

View: 9724

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Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us—it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse—more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government—epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable—may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.

The American Congress

The Building of Democracy

Author: Julian E. Zelizer

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780547345505

Category: Political Science

Page: 784

View: 1572

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Congress is the heart and soul of our democracy, the place where interests are brokered, laws are established, and innovation is turned into concrete action. It is also where some of democracy's greatest virtues clash with its worst vices: idealism and compromise meet corruption and bitter partisanship. The American Congress unveils the rich and varied history of this singular institution. Julian E. Zelizer has gathered together forty essays by renowned historians to capture the full drama, landmark legislation, and most memorable personalities of Congress. Organized around four major periods of congressional history, from the signing of the Constitution to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, this volume brings a fresh perspective to familiar watershed events: the Civil War, Watergate, the Vietnam War. It also gives a behind-the-scenes look at lesser-known legislation debated on the House and Senate floors, such as westward expansion and war powers control. Here are the stories behind the 1868 vote to impeach President Andrew Johnson; the rise of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress and a leading advocate for pacifism; and the controversy surrounding James Eastland of Mississippi, who carried civil rights bills in his pockets so they could not come up for a vote. Sidebars further spotlight notables including Huey Long, Sam Rayburn, and Tip O'Neill, bringing the sweeping history of our lawmaking bodies into sharp focus. If you've ever wondered how Congress worked in the past or what our elected officials do today, this book gives the engaging, often surprising, answers.

The Death of Democracy

Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1250162513

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 8190

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A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen. Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time. To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship. Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.

The United States Democratic Review

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: United States

Page: N.A

View: 9999

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Vols. 1-3, 5-8 contain the political and literary portions; v. 4 the historical register department, of the numbers published from Oct. 1837 to Dec. 1840.

Billionaire Democracy

The Hijacking of the American Political System

Author: George Tyler

Publisher: BenBella Books

ISBN: 1944648933

Category: Political Science

Page: 242

View: 1534

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This isn’t your America. No matter who the president is. We’re told that when we vote, when we elect representatives, we’re gaining a voice in government and the policies it implements. But if that’s true, why don’t American politics actually translate our preferences into higher-living standards for the majority of us? The answer is that, in America, the wealthy few have built a system that works in their favor, while maintaining the illusion of democracy. The reality is that the quality of democracy in the United States is lower than in any other rich democracy, on a par with nations such as Brazil or Turkey. In the US, voters have little influence on eventual policy outcomes engineered by lawmakers. Political scientists call it the income bias and attribute it to the power of wealthy donors who favor wage suppression and cuts to important government programs such as public education and consumer protection. It causes American lawmakers to compete to satisfy preferences of donors from the top one percent instead of the middle class. It’s also why our economy has been misfiring for most Americans for a generation, wages stagnating and opportunity dwindling. The election of Donald Trump shocked the world, but for many Americans, it came as a stark reflection of mounting frustrations with our current system and anger at the status quo. We need to find a way to fix the way our government serves us. The only realistic pathway to improve middle-class economics is for Congress and the Supreme Court to raise the quality of American democracy. In Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System, economist George R. Tyler lays out the fundamental problems plaguing our democracy. He explains how the American democratic system is rigged and how it has eroded the middle class, providing an unflinching and honest comparison of the US government to peer democracies abroad. He also breaks down where we fall short and how other rich democracies avoid the income bias created by the overwhelming role of money in US politics. Finally, Tyler outlines practical campaign finance reforms we can adopt when we finally focus on improving the political responsiveness of our government. It’s time for the people of this nation to demand a government that properly serves us, the American people.

How Democratic is the American Constitution?

Author: Robert Alan Dahl

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300095241

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 8528

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In this volume, an eminent political scientist questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how Americans might alter their political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.

Unfit for Democracy

The Roberts Court and the Breakdown of American Politics

Author: Stephen E. Gottlieb

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814733018

Category: Law

Page: 416

View: 9627

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Asked if the country was governed by a republic or a monarchy, Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Since its founding, Americans have worked hard to nurture and protect their hard-won democracy. And yet few consider the role of constitutional law in America’s survival. In Unfit for Democracy, Stephen Gottlieb argues that constitutional law without a focus on the future of democratic government is incoherent—illogical and contradictory. Approaching the decisions of the Roberts Court from political science, historical, comparative, and legal perspectives, Gottlieb highlights the dangers the court presents by neglecting to interpret the law with an eye towards preserving democracy. A senior scholar of constitutional law, Gottlieb brings a pioneering will to his theoretical and comparative criticism of the Roberts Court. The Roberts Court decisions are not examined in a vacuum but instead viewed in light of constitutional politics in India, South Africa, emerging Eastern European nations, and others. While constitutional decisions abroad have contributed to both the breakdown and strengthening of democratic politics, decisions in the Roberts Court have aggravated the potential destabilizing factors in democratic governments. Ultimately, Unfit for Democracy calls for an interpretation of the Constitution that takes the future of democracy seriously. Gottlieb warns that the Roberts Court’s decisions have hurt ordinary Americans economically, politically, and in the criminal process. They have damaged the historic American melting pot, increased the risk of anti-democratic paramilitaries, and clouded the democratic future.

It's Time to Fight Dirty

How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics

Author: David Faris

Publisher: Melville House

ISBN: 1612196950

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 604

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The American electoral system is clearly failing more horrifically in the 2016 presidential election than ever before. In It's Time to Fight Dirty, David Faris expands on his popular series for 'The Week' to offer party leaders and supporters concrete strategies for lasting political reform - and in doing so lays the groundwork for a more progressive future. With equal parts playful irreverence and persuasive reasoning, It's Time to Fight Dirty is essential reading as we head toward the 2018 midterms... and beyond.

The Plot to Destroy Democracy

How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West

Author: Malcolm Nance

Publisher: Hachette Books

ISBN: 0316484857

Category: Political Science

Page: 352

View: 6547

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER USA TODAY BESTSELLER A provocative, comprehensive analysis of Vladimir Putin and Russia's master plan to destroy democracy in the age of Donald Trump. In the greatest intelligence operation in the history of the world, Donald Trump was made President of the United States with the assistance of a foreign power. For the first time, The Plot to Destroy Democracy reveals the dramatic story of how blackmail, espionage, assassination, and psychological warfare were used by Vladimir Putin and his spy agencies to steal the 2016 U.S. election--and attempted to bring about the fall of NATO, the European Union, and western democracy. It will show how Russia and its fifth column allies tried to flip the cornerstones of democracy in order to re-engineer the world political order that has kept most of the world free since 1945. Career U.S. Intelligence officer Malcolm Nance will examine how Russia has used cyber warfare, political propaganda, and manipulation of our perception of reality--and will do so again--to weaponize American news, traditional media, social media, and the workings of the internet to attack and break apart democratic institutions from within, and what we can expect to come should we fail to stop their next attack. Nance has utilized top secret Russian-sourced political and hybrid warfare strategy documents to demonstrate the master plan to undermine American institutions that has been in effect from the Cold War to the present day. Based on original research and countless interviews with espionage experts, Nance examines how Putin's recent hacking accomplished a crucial first step for destabilizing the West for Russia, and why Putin is just the man to do it. Nance exposes how Russia has supported the campaigns of right-wing extremists throughout both the U.S. and Europe to leverage an axis of autocracy, and how Putin's agencies have worked since 2010 to bring fringe candidate Donald Trump into elections. Revelatory, insightful, and shocking, The Plot To Destroy Democracy puts a professional spy lens on Putin's plot and unravels it play-by-play. In the end, he provides a better understanding of why Putin's efforts are a serious threat to our national security and global alliances--in much more than one election--and a blistering indictment of Putin's puppet, President Donald J. Trump.

The Rise of American Democracy

Jefferson to Lincoln

Author: Sean Wilentz

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393329216

Category: History

Page: 1044

View: 7477

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A political history of how the fledgling American republic developed into a democratic state at the onset of the Civil War offers insight into how historical beliefs about democracy compromised democratic progress, providing coverage of the rivalry between Jeffersonians and Federalists, and identifying the roles of key contributors, including Andrew Jackson, Anti-Masons, and fugitive slaves. Reprint.

Recovering the U. S. Hispanic Literary Heritage

Author: Kenya Dworkin y Méndez

Publisher: Arte Publico Press

ISBN: 9781611922660

Category: American literature

Page: 225

View: 2457

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This volume of essays marks the fifteenth year of archival and critical work conducted under the auspices of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project at the University of Houston. This ongoing and comprehensive program seeks to locate, identify, preserve, and disseminate the literary contributions of U.S. Latinos from the Spanish Colonial Period to contemporary times. The contributors explore key issues and challenges in this project, such as the issue of its legitimacy and acceptance in teh academic canon, whether the basic archival phase of the Recovery Project is complete, and if teh assumption that there is widespread recognition of the existence and vitality of a centuries-long U.S. Hispanic literary tradition may be premature and perhaps imprudent. Originally presented at the biennial conferences of the Recovery project, the essays are divided in five sections: "Rethinking Latino/a Subject Positions," "Negotiating Cultural Authority and the Canon," "Orality, Performance, and the Archive," "Re-Contextualizing Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton," and "Bibliographic Reports." Covering a wide range of topics, essays include "Bending Chicano Identity and Experience in Arturo Isla's Early Borderland Short Stories," "Recovering Mexican America in the Classroom," and "Early New Mexican Criticism: The Case of Breve Resena de la literatura hispana de Nuevo Mexico y Colorado." In their introduction, editors Kenya Dworkin y Mendez and Agnes Lugo-Ortiz give an overview of the editorial framing of the previous volumes in the series and discuss the significant research issues and agendas raised over the past fifteen years. This volume, like the ones that precede it, is bilingual, confirming the cultural politics that have animated the Recovery Project since its inception: the understanding that the U.S. is a complex multicultural and multilingual society.

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Author: Edward Luce

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

ISBN: 0802188869

Category: Political Science

Page: 234

View: 1853

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"Insightful and harrowing . . . lucidly expounds on the erosion of the West's middle classes, the dysfunction among its political and economic elites and the consequences for America and the world."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times chief US columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of America's relative decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy—of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's economic losers, and complacency about our system's durability—attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. The West's faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different. Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the literature and economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.