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American Democracy in Peril : Eight Challenges to America's Future

American Democracy in Peril : Eight Challenges to America's Future - 5th edition

ISBN13: 978-1933116730

Cover of American Democracy in Peril : Eight Challenges to America
ISBN13: 978-1933116730
ISBN10: 1933116730
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 5TH 06
Publisher: Congressional Quarterly
Published: 2006
International: No

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American Democracy in Peril : Eight Challenges to America's Future - 5TH 06 edition

ISBN13: 978-1933116730

William E. Hudson

ISBN13: 978-1933116730
ISBN10: 1933116730
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 5TH 06
Publisher: Congressional Quarterly

Published: 2006
International: No
Summary

William Hudson's critical and provocative text urges students not just to think about how American democracy functions, but also to examine why American democracy has become what it is today. Hudson identifies eight major challenges to the strength of the political system, directly laying out the ways in which these developments erode the very foundations of American democracy: Does judicial activism eliminate the voice of the people in American policymaking? To what extent should Americans sacrifice their civil liberties in the interest of national security? Does the ''American Dream'' still exist given the degree of inequality in the United States?

Ever challenging students' apathy or antipathy of politics, Hudson provides critical, but balanced recommendations for reform, while emphasizing that the strength of the U.S. political system rests on the ability to respond successfully to these pressing issues. Important new coverage in this fifth edition includes:

  • The disparity between low- and high-income residents of the Gulf Coast that was thrown into vivid relief after Hurricane Katrina, revealing deeply embedded social, economic, and political inequality in the United States.
  • Judicial appointment politics that allow the president to promote ideological values in an undemocratic manner.
  • Stunted ''sound bite'' media coverage and candidate-centered campaigning that discourage Americans from deliberating and exercising their voices on national policy concerns.
  • The Bush administration's approaches to fighting terror and upholding democracy in the world that may, in fact, jeopardize democratic values.

Table of Contents

Tables, Figures, and Boxes
Preface
Introduction: Models of Democracy
Precursors to Modern Democratic Theory
Protective Democracy
Developmental Democracy
Pluralist Democracy
Participatory Democracy
The Models Compared

1. The First Challenge: Separation of Powers

The Founders' Work
The Jeffersonian Model
The Separation of Powers and Democratic Values
The Parliamentary Alternative
Meeting the Challenge: Bridging the Separation of Powers

2. The Second Challenge: The Imperial Judiciary

The Least Democratic Branch
A Brief History of Judicial Review
Two Cases of Judicial Usurpation
Can Judicial Review Be Made Consistent with Democracy?
The Judicialization of American Politics as a Challenge to Democracy
Meeting the Challenge: Revitalize American Democracy

3. The Third Challenge: Radical Individualism

Individualism in the American Tradition
American ''Habits of the Heart''
The Flaws of Libertarianism
Our Pathological Politics of Rights and Interests
The Failed Opportunity to Build Community after 9/11
Meeting the Challenge: Balance Rights with Responsibilities

4. The Fourth Challenge: Citizen Participation

Citizen Participation and Democratic Theory
Citizen Political Participation
Signs of Civic Disengagement
The New Citizen Activism
Participation as a Challenge to Democracy
Meeting the Challenge: More, Not Less, Participation

5. The Fifth Challenge: Trivialized Elections

Equal Representation
Deliberation
Control
Meeting the Challenge: Reform Electoral Institutions, Promote Democratic Deliberation

6. The Sixth Challenge: The ''Privileged Position'' of Business

American Politics as Pluralist Heaven
Business: The ''Privileged'' Group
Why Business Privilege Is a Threat to Democracy
Objections to the Privileged-Position-of-Business Thesis
Meeting the Challenge: Democratic Action to Reduce Business Privilege

7. The Seventh Challenge: Inequality

Equality and Democratic Theory
The End of the American Dream?
The Persistence of Racial Inequality
Economic Inequality's Challenge to Democracy
Meeting the Challenge: Policies to Promote Equality

8. The Eighth Challenge: The National Security State

A Brief History of the National Security State
Secrecy
Centralization
Repression
Distortion
Meeting the Challenge: Reform to Achieve True Security

Notes
Index

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American Democracy in Peril - 6th edition

ISBN13: 978-0872899704
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