democracy more or less america s political reform quandary cambridge studies in election law and democracy

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Democracy More Or Less

Author : Bruce E. Cain
ISBN : 9781316194645
Genre : Law
File Size : 28. 97 MB
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Why do American political reform efforts so often fail to solve the problems they intend to fix? In this book, Bruce E. Cain argues that the reasons are an unrealistic civic ideal of a fully informed and engaged citizenry and a neglect of basic pluralist principles about political intermediaries. This book traces the tension between populist and pluralist approaches as it plays out in many seemingly distinct reform topics, such as voting administration, campaign finance, excessive partisanship, redistricting, and transparency and voter participation. It explains why political primaries have promoted partisan polarization, why voting rates are declining even as election opportunities increase, and why direct democracy is not really a grassroots tool. Cain offers a reform agenda that attempts to reconcile pluralist ideals with the realities of collective-action problems and resource disparities.

Fragile Democracies

Author : Samuel Issacharoff
ISBN : 9781107038707
Genre : Law
File Size : 89. 13 MB
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This book examines how constitutional courts can support weak democratic states in the wake of societal division and authoritarian regimes.

Democracy In The States

Author : Bruce E. Cain
ISBN : 9780815701477
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 44. 10 MB
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Democracy in the States offers a 21st century agenda for election reform in America based on lessons learned in the fifty states. Combining accessibility and rigor, leading scholars of U.S. politics and elections examine the impact of reforms intended to increase the integrity, fairness, and responsiveness of the electoral system. While some of these reforms focus on election administration, which has been the subject of much controversy since the 2000 presidential election, others seek more broadly to increase political participation and improve representation. For example, Paul Gronke (Reed College) and his colleagues study the relationship between early voting and turnout. Barry Burden (University of Wisconsin–Madison) examines the hurdles that third-party candidates must clear to get on the ballot in different states. Michael McDonald (George Mason University) analyzes the leading strategies for redistricting reform. And Todd Donovan (Western Washington University) focuses on how the spread of "safe" legislative seats affects both representation and participation. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously observed that "a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." Nowhere is this function more essential than in the sphere of election reform, as this important book shows.

Ballot Battles

Author : Edward Foley
ISBN : 9780190235284
Genre : Law
File Size : 28. 4 MB
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The 2000 presidential race resulted in the highest-profile ballot battle in over a century. But it is far from the only American election determined by a handful of votes and marred by claims of fraud. Since the founding of the nation, violence frequently erupted as the votes were being counted, and more than a few elections produced manifestly unfair results. Despite America's claim to be the world's greatest democracy, its adherence to the basic tenets of democratic elections-the ability to count ballots accurately and fairly even when the stakes are high-has always been shaky. A rigged gubernatorial election in New York in 1792 nearly ended in calls for another revolution, and an 1899 gubernatorial race even resulted in an assassination. Though acts of violence have decreased in frequency over the past century, fairness and accuracy in ballot counting nonetheless remains a basic problem in American political life. In Ballot Battles, Edward Foley presents a sweeping history of election controversies in the United States, tracing how their evolution generated legal precedents that ultimately transformed how we determine who wins and who loses. While weaving a narrative spanning over two centuries, Foley repeatedly returns to an originating event: because the Founding Fathers despised parties and never envisioned the emergence of a party system, they wrote a constitution that did not provide clear solutions for high-stakes and highly-contested elections in which two parties could pool resources against one another. Moreover, in the American political system that actually developed, politicians are beholden to the parties which they represent - and elected officials have typically had an outsized say in determining the outcomes of extremely close elections that involve recounts. This underlying structural problem, more than anything else, explains why intense ballot battles that leave one side feeling aggrieved will continue to occur for the foreseeable future. American democracy has improved dramatically over the last two centuries. But the same cannot be said for the ways in which we determine who wins the very close races. From the founding until today, there has been little progress toward fixing the problem. Indeed, supporters of John Jay in 1792 and opponents of Lyndon Johnson in the 1948 Texas Senate race would find it easy to commiserate with Al Gore after the 2000 election. Ballot Battles is not only the first full chronicle of contested elections in the US. It also provides a powerful explanation of why the American election system has been-and remains-so ineffective at deciding the tightest races in a way that all sides will agree is fair.

Party Lines

Author : Thomas E. Mann
ISBN : 0815797923
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 24. 5 MB
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The legitimacy of the American electoral system depends on sustaining reasonable levels of fairness, accountability, responsiveness, and common sense. Recent Congressional elections fly in the face of those requirements, however, with a startling lack of competition, growing ideological polarization, and a fierce struggle between the parties to manipulate the electoral rules of the game. Party Lines addresses these problems head on in an authoritative and timely analysis of redistricting in the United States. The practice of state legislatures redrawing district lines after the decennial census has long been a controversial aspect of our governing system. Recent developments have added new urgency to earlier debates. The sorry spectacle of mid-decade partisan gerrymandering in Texas renewed public attention to the potential problems of redistricting, reinforcing the view that it is unfairly dominated by self-serving elected officials and parties. The perfunctory character of Congressional elections is another growing problem—in 2002, only four House incumbents were defeated in the general election, the lowest in American history. Despite a hotly contested presidential contest in 2004, that number increased by only three. In Pa rty Lines, eminent political analysts explain the legal and political history of redistricting since the one person–one vote revolution in the 1960s and place it in the larger context of American politics. The authors document the impact of redistricting on competition, polarization, and partisan fairness, and they assess the role technology played in the redistricting process. The final chapter analyzes options for reform, including most importantly the use of independent redistricting commissions as an alternative to the normal state legislative process. Redistricting reform is no panacea but it is a start toward ensuring that American voters still have the largest say in who will represent them. Contributors include Micah Altman (Harvard Universtity), Bruce Cain and Karin MacDonald (University of California, Berkeley),Cherie Maestas (Texas Tech), Sandy Maisel (Colby College), Thomas Mann (Brookings), Michael McDonald (George Mason University), Nathaniel Persily (University of Pennsylvania ), and Walter Stone (University of California, Davis).

Democracy Prevention

Author : Jason Brownlee
ISBN : 9781107025714
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 30. 24 MB
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"For fifteen years the military regime that took power in Egypt in 1952 enjoyed a contentious but respectful bilateral relationship with the United States. After Israel devastated the Egyptian military in the 1967 War, however, Cairo severed diplomatic ties with Washington. , dipYears later, compatible strategic aims brought the two governments back together. While Anwar Sadat strove to restore Egypt's territory and solvency, the White House sought to reduce Soviet influence in the Middle East. A US-Egyptian alliance served both parties, but it took a daring military assault by Sadat to impress the wisdom of the friendship upon the Nixon administration. What followed was one of the most tectonic shifts of the Cold War: the complete return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt; a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt, Israel's most formidable regional adversary; and a strategic pact between the United States and Egypt, previously a key client of the Soviet Union. After the Iranian Revolution, Egypt became a component of America's new strategy for preserving its influence over the Persian Gulf"--

Thinking About Political Reform

Author : John Johannes
ISBN : 0199937990
Genre : Administrative agencies
File Size : 59. 61 MB
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Thinking About Political Reform: How to Fix, or Not Fix, American Government and Politics offers the most comprehensive and highly accessible analysis of reform proposals available. It treats both the causes and consequences of structural, procedural, and behavioral problems, assessing a wide variety of reform proposals from the perspectives of political science, economics, law, journalism, and politics. Author John R. Johannes places reform proposals in the context of seven key standards for sound democratic government. He applies those standards and an up-to-date review of the scholarly literature and current events to the reform agenda, suggesting several approaches to evaluate, for example, the tensions between Congress and the presidency, election systems, or political parties. Johannes reminds students that reforms in one area are bound to have consequences in others, thereby advocating a system-wide approach to reform and a wariness of ad hoc reforms prompted by political events.

The Logic And Limits Of Political Reform In China

Author : Joseph Fewsmith
ISBN : 9781139620420
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 40. 5 MB
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In the 1990s China embarked on a series of political reforms intended to increase, however modestly, political participation to reduce the abuse of power by local officials. Although there was initial progress, these reforms have largely stalled and, in many cases, gone backward. If there were sufficient incentives to inaugurate reform, why wasn't there enough momentum to continue and deepen them? This book approaches this question by looking at a number of promising reforms, understanding the incentives of officials at different levels, and the way the Chinese Communist Party operates at the local level. The short answer is that the sort of reforms necessary to make local officials more responsible to the citizens they govern cut too deeply into the organizational structure of the party.

Stealth Democracy

Author : John R. Hibbing
ISBN : 0521009863
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 60. 78 MB
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Examining how people want their democratic government to work, this study finds that Americans don't like many of the practices associated with democracy: the conflicts, the debates, the compromises. It finds that Americans don't want to have to see democracy in practice, nor do they want to be involved in politics. If American citizens had their way, political decisions would be made by unselfish decision-makers, lessening the need for monitoring government.

Conservative Parties And The Birth Of Democracy

Author : Daniel Ziblatt
ISBN : 9781108298599
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 32. 27 MB
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How do democracies form and what makes them die? Daniel Ziblatt revisits this timely and classic question in a wide-ranging historical narrative that traces the evolution of modern political democracy in Europe from its modest beginnings in 1830s Britain to Adolf Hitler's 1933 seizure of power in Weimar Germany. Based on rich historical and quantitative evidence, the book offers a major reinterpretation of European history and the question of how stable political democracy is achieved. The barriers to inclusive political rule, Ziblatt finds, were not inevitably overcome by unstoppable tides of socioeconomic change, a simple triumph of a growing middle class, or even by working class collective action. Instead, political democracy's fate surprisingly hinged on how conservative political parties – the historical defenders of power, wealth, and privilege – recast themselves and coped with the rise of their own radical right. With striking modern parallels, the book has vital implications for today's new and old democracies under siege.

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