Rude Democracy

Author: Susan Herbst
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: 1439903379
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

In Your Face Politics

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865875
Format: PDF, ePub
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Americans are disgusted with watching politicians screaming and yelling at one another on television. But does all the noise really make a difference? Drawing on numerous studies, Diana Mutz provides the first comprehensive look at the consequences of in-your-face politics. Her book contradicts the conventional wisdom by documenting both the benefits and the drawbacks of in-your-face media. "In-your-face" politics refers to both the level of incivility and the up-close and personal way that we experience political conflict on television. Just as actual physical closeness intensifies people's emotional reactions to others, the appearance of closeness on a video screen has similar effects. We tend to keep our distance from those with whom we disagree. Modern media, however, puts those we dislike in our faces in a way that intensifies our negative reactions. Mutz finds that incivility is particularly detrimental to facilitating respect for oppositional political viewpoints and to citizens' levels of trust in politicians and the political process. On the positive side, incivility and close-up camera perspectives contribute to making politics more physiologically arousing and entertaining to viewers. This encourages more attention to political programs, stimulates recall of the content, and encourages people to relay content to others. In the end, In-Your-Face Politics demonstrates why political incivility is not easily dismissed as a disservice to democracy—it may even be a necessity in an age with so much competition for citizens' attention.

Global Civil Society

Author: Mary Kaldor
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745657176
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The terms 'global' and 'civil society' have both become part of the contemporary political lexicon. In this important new book, Mary Kaldor argues that this is no coincidence and that the reinvention of civil society has to be understood in the context of globalization. The concept of civil society is no longer confined to the borders of the territorial state. Whether one considers dissidents in repressive regimes, landless labourers in Central America, campaigners against land mines or global debt, or even religious fundamentalists, it is now possible for them to link up with other like-minded groups in different parts of the world and to address demands not just to national governments but to global institutions as well. This has opened up new opportunities for human emancipation, and, in particular, for going beyond war as a way of managing global affairs. But it also entails new risks and insecurities. This is a book about a political idea - an idea that came out of the 1989 revolutions. It is an idea that expresses a real phenomenon, even if the boundaries and shape of the phenomenon are contested and subject to constant redefinition. The study of past debates as well as the actions and arguments of the present is a way of directly influencing the phenomenon, and of contributing to a changing reality, if possible for the better. The task is all the more urgent in the aftermath of September 11. Global Civil Society will be read by students of politics, international relations and sociology, as well as activists, policy-makers, journalists and all those engaged in global public debates.

Mere Civility

Author: Teresa M. Bejan
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674972740
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In liberal democracies committed to tolerating diversity as well as disagreement, the loss of civility in the public sphere seems critical. But is civility really a virtue, or a demand for conformity that silences dissent? Teresa Bejan looks at early modern debates about religious toleration for answers about what a civil society should look like.

Social Movements Mobilization and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Joel Beinin
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804788030
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Before the 2011 uprisings, the Middle East and North Africa were frequently seen as a uniquely undemocratic region with little civic activism. The first edition of this volume, published at the start of the Arab Spring, challenged these views by revealing a region rich with social and political mobilizations. This fully revised second edition extends the earlier explorations of Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, and adds new case studies on the uprisings in Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen. The case studies are inspired by social movement theory, but they also critique and expand the horizons of the theory's classical concepts of political opportunity structures, collective action frames, mobilization structures, and repertoires of contention based on intensive fieldwork. This strong empirical base allows for a nuanced understanding of contexts, culturally conditioned rationality, the strengths and weaknesses of local networks, and innovation in contentious action to give the reader a substantive understanding of events in the Arab world before and since 2011.

Humor Silence and Civil Society in Nigeria

Author: Ebenezer Obadare
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
ISBN: 158046551X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An important contribution to the debate on forms of civil society in Africa and elsewhere, and to the global literature on dissent.

Civility

Author: Stephen L. Carter
Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Considers the causes and nature of the moral crisis in America today and offers ways in which families, individuals, and politicians can improve the country by adhering to basic principles of civility

Conditions of Liberty

Author: Ernest Gellner
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 9780140236057
Format: PDF, Docs
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A distinguished scholar's provocative analysis of the political forces transforming post-Communist Eastern Europe. What is filling the void left by the fall of Communism in the ex-Soviet Union and Eastern Europe? In this groundbreaking book, one of Europe's most distinguished social anthropologists addresses this question through an examination of the idea of the civil society, which is rooted in the Enlightenment's belief that society can be organized rationally.

Taking to the Streets

Author: Lina Khatib
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421413116
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Taking to the Streets critically examines the conventional wisdom that the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings happened spontaneously and were directed by tech-savvy young revolutionaries. Pairing first-hand observations from activists with the critical perspectives of scholars, the book illuminates the concept of activism as an ongoing process, rather than a sudden burst of defiance. The contributors examine case studies from uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, evaluating the various manifestations of political activism within the context of each country's distinct sociopolitical landscape. The chapters include a country-specific timeline of the first year following the uprisings and conclude with lessons learned. First-hand observations include those of Libyan activist Rihab Elhaj, who reflects on how the revolution gave birth to Libyan civil society, as well as Syrian writer and human rights activist Khawla Dunia, who discusses how Syrians have tried to remain steadfast in their commitment to nonviolent resistance. A foreword by Prince Hicham Ben Abdallah El Alaoui—third in succession to the Moroccan throne and consulting professor at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL)—provides a historical overview of activism in the Middle East and North Africa. A postscript from CDDRL director Larry Diamond distinguishes the study of activism from that of democratization. Taking to the Streets will be used in courses on Middle East politics and will be relevant to scholars and the general public interested in democratization, political change, and activism.

Civility Legality and Justice in America

Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 131606171X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Throughout American history, the discourse of civility has proven quite resilient, and concern for a perceived lack of civility has ebbed and flowed in recognizable patterns. Today we are in another era in which political leaders and commentators bemoan a crisis of incivility and warn of civility's demise. Civility, Legality, and Justice in America charts the uses of civility in American legal and political discourse. How important is civility as a legal and political virtue? How does it fare when it is juxtaposed with the claim that it masks injustice? Who advocates civility and to what effect? How are battles over civility played out in legal and political arenas? This book brings the work of several distinguished scholars together to critically assess the relative claims of civility and justice and the way law the weighs those virtues.