For the Many or the Few

Author: John G. Matsusaka
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226510875
Format: PDF, Docs
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Direct democracy is alive and well in the United States. Citizens are increasingly using initiatives and referendums to take the law into their own hands, overriding their elected officials to set tax, expenditure, and social policies. John G. Matsusaka's For the Many or the Few provides the first even-handed and historically based treatment of the subject. Drawing upon a century of evidence, Matsusaka argues against the popular belief that initiative measures are influenced by wealthy special interest groups that neglect the majority view. Examining demographic, political, and opinion data, he demonstrates how the initiative process brings about systematic changes in tax and expenditure policies of state and local governments that are generally supported by the citizens. He concludes that, by and large, direct democracy in the form of the initiative process works for the benefit of the many rather than the few. An unprecedented, comprehensive look at the historical, empirical, and theoretical components of how initiatives function within our representative democracy to increase political competition while avoiding the tyranny of the majority, For the Many or the Few is a most timely and definitive work.

Trust with Asian Characteristics

Author: Takashi Inoguchi
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9811023050
Format: PDF
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This volume, edited by a political scientist and a practicing medical doctor, is organized into two parts: interpersonal and institutional trust. To gauge trust both interpersonal and institutional in 29 Asian societies, the AsiaBarometer survey, the best—and only—available such data source in the world was used. The survey, focusing on the quality of life in Asia, was carried out in the 2000s in 29 Asian societies (in East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia), and in the United States, Australia, and Russia for comparative analysis. Trust is a key intermediate variable linking an individual and a broader society. Yet systematically and scientifically assembled data have tended to be narrowly focused on Western societies. In the 2000s non-Western data on the quality of life have steadily increased. The AsiaBarometer survey, however, is the instrument that best examines the quality of life in a large number of Asian societies with nationwide random sampling and face-to-face interviewing, with the number of samples ranging from 1,000 to 3,000. In gauging interpersonal trust, the question, "Generally, do you think people can be trusted, or do you think that you can't be too careful in dealing with people (i.e., that it pays to be wary of people)?" is asked along with additional questions. In measuring institutional trust, the question is asked: "How much confidence do you place in the following institutions?" (Listed are the central government, the courts, the military, the police, political parties, the parliament, mass media, business companies, medical hospitals, and other institutions.) In examining interpersonal and institutional trust Asia-wide, special attention is paid to historical and geo-cultural backgrounds of the societies being surveyed. Examination of the link between trust of mass media and individual health and between trust in medical care and individual health focuses on Japan.Among the 12 chapters, 9 are reprints of journal articles published in the 2000s, and the introduction and 2 other chapters were written especially for this book to reflect the latest progress in the field. This work provides a rich source to be consulted by a wide range of readers interested in comparative politics, quality of life, and Asia in general.

Direct Democracy and Minority Rights

Author: Daniel C. Lewis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415537436
Format: PDF
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This book conclusively demonstrates that direct democracy—institutions like the ballot initiative and the referendum—endangers the rights of minorities and perpetuates a tyranny of the majority. While advocates of direct democracy advocate that these institutions protect citizens from corrupt lawmakers beholden to special interests, Daniel Lewis’s thorough investigation shows how such mass participation exposes minority groups to negative policy outcomes favored by only a slim majority of voters. Some would argue that greater democratic responsiveness is a positive outcome, but without the checks and balances of a representative, separated powers system that encourages deliberation and minority representation, minority rights are at increased risk under direct democracy institutions. While research has been presented that supports both sides of the debate, the existing literature has yet to produce consistent and compelling evidence in favor of one side or the other. This book undertakes a comprehensive examination of the "tyranny of the majority" critique of direct democracy by examining a host of contemporary American state policies that affect the rights of a variety of minority groups. By assessing the impact of direct democracy on both ballot measures and traditional legislation, the book provides a more complete picture of how citizen legislative institutions can affect minority rights, covering a myriad of contemporary (and sometimes controversial) minority rights issues, including same-sex marriage, affirmative action, official English, hate crimes laws, racial profiling, and anti-discrimination laws. The book is unique in its approach and scope, making it compelling for scholars interested in direct democracy, state politics, minority politics and electoral institutions, as well as American politics generally.

Unequal Democracy

Author: Larry M. Bartels
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400883369
Format: PDF, ePub
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Bartels’s acclaimed examination of how the American political system favors the wealthy—now fully revised and expanded The first edition of Unequal Democracy was an instant classic, shattering illusions about American democracy and spurring scholarly and popular interest in the political causes and consequences of escalating economic inequality. This revised, updated, and expanded second edition includes two new chapters on the political economy of the Obama era. One presents the Great Recession as a "stress test" of the American political system by analyzing the 2008 election and the impact of Barack Obama's "New New Deal" on the economic fortunes of the rich, middle class, and poor. The other assesses the politics of inequality in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2012 election, and the partisan gridlock of Obama’s second term. Larry Bartels offers a sobering account of the barriers to change posed by partisan ideologies and the political power of the wealthy. He also provides new analyses of tax policy, partisan differences in economic performance, the struggle to raise the minimum wage, and inequalities in congressional representation. President Obama identified inequality as "the defining challenge of our time." Unequal Democracy is the definitive account of how and why our political system has failed to rise to that challenge. Now more than ever, this is a book every American needs to read.

The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government

Author: Donald P. Haider-Markel
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191611964
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government is an historic undertaking. It contains a wide range of essays that define the important questions in the field, evaluate where we are in answering them, and set the direction and terms of discourse for future work. The Handbook will have a substantial influence in defining the field for years to come. The chapters critically assess both the key works of state and local politics literature and the ways in which the sub-field has developed. It covers the main areas of study in subnational politics by exploring the central contributions to the comparative study of institutions, behavior, and policy in the American context. Each chapter outlines an agenda for future research.

State and Local Politics

Author: Todd Donovan
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 1285441400
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this Fourth Edition of STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM, Donovan, Smith, Mooney, and new co-author Tracy Osborn go beyond the purely descriptive treatment usually found in state and local texts. Offering an engaging comparative approach, the Fourth Edition shows you how politics and government differ between states and communities, and points out the causes and effects of those variations. The text also focuses on what social scientists know about the effects of rules and institutions on politics and policy. This comparative, institutional framework enables you to think more analytically about the impact of institutions on policy outcomes, asks you to evaluate the effectiveness of one institutional approach over another, and encourages you to consider more sophisticated solutions. Written by four young, high-profile specialists who have contributed significantly to the field in the last decade, STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM incorporates the most recent scholarship available into the course, giving you access to perspectives that no other textbook on the market currently provides. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

Inequality and American Democracy

Author: Lawrence R. Jacobs
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610443047
Format: PDF, ePub
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In the twentieth century, the United States ended some of its most flagrant inequalities. The "rights revolution" ended statutory prohibitions against women's suffrage and opened the doors of voting booths to African Americans. Yet a more insidious form of inequality has emerged since the 1970s—economic inequality—which appears to have stalled and, in some arenas, reversed progress toward realizing American ideals of democracy. In Inequality and American Democracy, editors Lawrence Jacobs and Theda Skocpol headline a distinguished group of political scientists in assessing whether rising economic inequality now threatens hard-won victories in the long struggle to achieve political equality in the United States. Inequality and American Democracy addresses disparities at all levels of the political and policy-making process. Kay Lehman Scholzman, Benjamin Page, Sidney Verba, and Morris Fiorina demonstrate that political participation is highly unequal and strongly related to social class. They show that while economic inequality and the decreasing reliance on volunteers in political campaigns serve to diminish their voice, middle class and working Americans lag behind the rich even in protest activity, long considered the political weapon of the disadvantaged. Larry Bartels, Hugh Heclo, Rodney Hero, and Lawrence Jacobs marshal evidence that the U.S. political system may be disproportionately responsive to the opinions of wealthy constituents and business. They argue that the rapid growth of interest groups and the increasingly strict party-line voting in Congress imperils efforts at enacting policies that are responsive to the preferences of broad publics and to their interests in legislation that extends economic and social opportunity. Jacob Hacker, Suzanne Mettler, and Dianne Pinderhughes demonstrate the feedbacks of government policy on political participation and inequality. In short supply today are inclusive public policies like the G.I. Bill, Social Security legislation, the War on Poverty, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that changed the American political climate, mobilized interest groups, and altered the prospect for initiatives to stem inequality in the last fifty years. Inequality and American Democracy tackles the complex relationships between economic, social, and political inequality with authoritative insight, showcases a new generation of critical studies of American democracy, and highlights an issue of growing concern for the future of our democratic society.

The Jury and Democracy

Author: John Gastil
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199888531
Format: PDF, ePub
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Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and the U.S. Supreme Court have all alleged that jury service promotes civic and political engagement, yet none could prove it. Finally, The Jury and Democracy provides compelling systematic evidence to support this view. Drawing from in-depth interviews, thousands of juror surveys, and court and voting records from across the United States, the authors show that serving on a jury can trigger changes in how citizens view themselves, their peers, and their government--and can even significantly increase electoral turnout among infrequent voters. Jury service also sparks long-term shifts in media use, political action, and community involvement. In an era when involved Americans are searching for ways to inspire their fellow citizens, The Jury and Democracy offers a plausible and realistic path for turning passive spectators into active political participants.