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A bold rethinking of the most powerful political idea in the world--democracy--and the story of how radical democracy can yet transform America Democracy has been the American religion since before the Revolution--from New England town halls to the multicultural democracy of Atlantic pirate ships. But can our current political system, one that seems responsive only to the wealthiest among us and leaves most Americans feeling disengaged, voiceless, and disenfranchised, really be called democratic? And if the tools of our democracy are not working to solve the rising crises we face, how can we--average citizens--make change happen? David Graeber, one of the most influential scholars and activists of his generation, takes readers on a journey through the idea of democracy, provocatively reorienting our understanding of pivotal historical moments, and extracts their lessons for today--from the birth of Athenian democracy and the founding of the United States of America to the global revolutions of the twentieth century and the rise of a new generation of activists. Underlying it all is a bracing argument that in the face of increasingly concentrated wealth and power in this country, a reenergized, reconceived democracy--one based on consensus, equality, and broad participation--can yet provide us with the just, free, and fair society we want. The Democracy Project tells the story of the resilience of the democratic spirit and the adaptability of the democratic idea. It offers a fresh take on vital history and an impassioned argument that radical democracy is, more than ever, our best hope.Praise for David Graeber's Debt "A sprawling, erudite, provocative work."--Drake Bennett, Bloomberg Businessweek "Written in a brash, engaging style, the book is also a philosophical inquiry into the nature of debt--where it came from and how it evolved."--The New York Times Book Review "Fresh . . . fascinating . . . thought-provoking [and] exceedingly timely."--Financial Times "The book is more readable and entertaining than I can indicate. . . . Graeber is a scholarly researcher, an activist and a public intellectual. His field is the whole history of social and economic transactions."--Peter Carey, The Observer "One of the year's most influential books. Graeber situates the emergence of credit within the rise of class society, the destruction of societies based on 'webs of mutual commitment' and the constantly implied threat of physical violence that lies behind all social relations based on money."--Paul Mason, The Guardian "Part anthropological history and part provocative political argument, it's a useful corrective to what passes for contemporary conversation about debt and the economy."--Jesse Singal, The Boston Globe "Terrific . . . In the best anthropological tradition, he helps us reset our everyday ideas by exploring history and other civilizations, then boomeranging back to render our own world strange, and more open to change."--Raj Patel, The Globe and Mail
The Democracy Sourcebook offers a collection of classic writings and contemporary scholarship on democracy, creating a book that can be used by undergraduate and graduate students in a wide variety of courses, including American politics.
Hoppe calls for an alignment of conservatism and libertarianism and suggests, among other things, that the production of defense should be undertaken by insurance companies on the free market.
Max Weber is best known as one of the founders of modern sociology and the author of the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, but he also made important contributions to modern political and democratic theory. In Democracy and the Political in Max Weber's Thought, Terry Maley explores, through a detailed analysis of Weber's writings, the intersection of recent work on Weber and on democratic theory, bridging the gap between these two rapidly expanding areas of scholarship.Maley critically examines how Weber's realist 'model' of democracy defines and constrains the possibilities for democratic agency in modern liberal-democracies. Maley also looks at how ideas of historical time and memory are constructed in his writings on religion, bureaucracy, and the social sciences. Democracy and the Political in Max Weber's Thought is both an accessible introduction to Weber's political thought and a spirited defense of its continued relevance to debates on democracy.
No political concept is more used, and misused, than that of democracy. Nearly every regime today claims to be democratic, but not all 'democracies' allow free politics, and free politics existed long before democratic franchises. This book is a short account of the history of the doctrine and practice of democracy, from ancient Greece and Rome through the American, French, and Russian revolutions, and of the usages and practices associated with it in the modern world. It argues that democracy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for good government, and that ideas of the rule of law, and of human rights, should in some situations limit democratic claims.
America's education system faces a stark dilemma: it needs governmental oversight, rules and regulations, but it also needs to be adaptable enough to address student needs and the many different problems that can arise at any given school-something that large educational bureaucracies are notoriously bad at. The authors offer a solution.
This compelling new book asks: How can American education policy be consistent with democratic ideals? Robust democracy is the combination of participation, self-rule, equality, understanding, and inclusion, but these norms can produce contradictory policy. Local control in education policy can undermine educational equality. Participation in teachers unions can improve working conditions but thwart self-rule by local taxpayers. The Democratic Dilemma of American Education draws on contemporary research in political science and education policy to offer remarkably balanced insights into these challenging issues. Expertly navigating through local, state, and federal layers of education policy, Arnold Shober examines contemporary controversies over education governance, teachers unions and collective bargaining, school funding, school choice, academic accountability, and desegregation. Shober describes the inherent practical dilemmas of current policy and the difficulties policymakers face in overcoming them to produce lasting educational reform in a democratic, federal system of government. Timely, engaging, and accessible, this is the ideal resource for courses in public policy as well as education and politics.
This book is a political history of democratic elections in Poland from the first fully competitive parliamentary elections in 1991 to the unexpected, most recent election in 2007. Until now, there has been no equivalent study covering similar developments in this, or any other, post-communist country; this book fills the gap and provides a detailed electoral perspective on the trajectory of political development in the context of post-authoritarian change. It also provides an invaluable account of the evolution of electoral processes and institution-building in the context of democratic regime development. The major themes of the book centre on the complex, problematic development of Poland's political parties and the parties' failure to gain public support and win the confidence of the electorate. Frances Millard examines the failure of Polish elites; the lack of a stable party system and how elections have had a destabilizing effect, and she argues that the interaction of leadership volatility, party volatility, and electoral volatility have created uncertainty and undermined political parties as effective vehicles of representation. Poland is a large and important country, worthy of study in its own right, but equally many of the problems experienced are not unique to Poland; so this book also constitutes a comparative benchmark for analysis of democratic developments elsewhere.
In a series of fascinating essays that explore topics in American politics from the nation's founding to the present day , The Democratic Experiment opens up exciting new avenues for historical research while offering bold claims about the tensions that have animated American public life. Revealing the fierce struggles that have taken place over the role of the federal government and the character of representative democracy, the authors trace the contested and dynamic evolution of the national polity.The contributors, who represent the leading new voices in the revitalized field of American political history, offer original interpretations of the nation's political past by blending methodological insights from the new institutionalism in the social sciences and studies of political culture. They tackle topics as wide-ranging as the role of personal character of political elites in the Early Republic, to the importance of courts in building a modern regulatory state, to the centrality of local political institutions in the late twentieth century. Placing these essays side by side encourages the asking of new questions about the forces that have shaped American politics over time. An unparalleled example of the new political history in action, this book will be vastly influential in the field.In addition to the editors, the contributors are Brian Balogh, Sven Beckert, Rebecca Edwards, Joanne B. Freeman, Richard R. John, Ira Katznelson, James T. Kloppenberg, Matthew D. Lassiter, Thomas J. Sugrue, Michael Vorenberg, and Michael Willrich.
The American political reformer Herbert Croly wrote, "For better or worse, democracy cannot be disentangled from an aspiration toward human perfectibility." Democratic Faith is at once a trenchant analysis and a powerful critique of this underlying assumption that informs democratic theory. Patrick Deneen argues that among democracy's most ardent supporters there is an oft-expressed belief in the need to "transform" human beings in order to reconcile the sometimes disappointing reality of human self-interest with the democratic ideal of selfless commitment. This "transformative impulse" is frequently couched in religious language, such as the need for political "redemption." This is all the more striking given the frequent accompanying condemnation of traditional religious belief that informs the "democratic faith." At the same time, because so often this democratic ideal fails to materialize, democratic faith is often subject to a particularly intense form of disappointment. A mutually reinforcing cycle of faith and disillusionment is frequently exhibited by those who profess a democratic faith- in effect imperiling democratic commitments due to the cynicism of its most fervent erstwhile supporters. Deneen argues that democracy is ill-served by such faith. Instead, he proposes a form of "democratic realism" that recognizes democracy not as a regime with aspirations to perfection, but that justifies democracy as the regime most appropriate for imperfect humans. If democratic faith aspires to transformation, democratic realism insists on the central importance of humility, hope, and charity.
Democratic Governance examines the changing nature of the modern state and reveals the dangers these changes pose to democracy. Mark Bevir shows how new ideas about governance have gradually displaced old-style notions of government in Britain and around the world. Policymakers cling to outdated concepts of representative government while at the same time placing ever more faith in expertise, markets, and networks. Democracy exhibits blurred lines of accountability and declining legitimacy. Bevir explores how new theories of governance undermined traditional government in the twentieth century. Politicians responded by erecting great bureaucracies, increasingly relying on policy expertise and abstract notions of citizenship and, more recently, on networks of quasi-governmental and private organizations to deliver services using market-oriented techniques. Today, the state is an unwieldy edifice of nineteenth-century government buttressed by a sprawling substructure devoted to the very different idea of governance--and democracy has suffered. InDemocratic Governance, Bevir takes a comprehensive look at governance and the history and thinking behind it. He provides in-depth case studies of constitutional reform, judicial reform, joined-up government, and police reform. He argues that the best hope for democratic renewal lies in more interpretive styles of expertise, dialogic forms of policy making, and more diverse avenues for public participation.
It's a commonplace that citizens in Western democracies are disaffected with their political leaders and traditional democratic institutions. But in Democratic Legitimacy, Pierre Rosanvallon, one of today's leading political thinkers, argues that this crisis of confidence is partly a crisis of understanding. He makes the case that the sources of democratic legitimacy have shifted and multiplied over the past thirty years and that we need to comprehend and make better use of these new sources of legitimacy in order to strengthen our political self-belief and commitment to democracy.Drawing on examples from France and the United States, Rosanvallon notes that there has been a major expansion of independent commissions, NGOs, regulatory authorities, and watchdogs in recent decades. At the same time, constitutional courts have become more willing and able to challenge legislatures. These institutional developments, which serve the democratic values of impartiality and reflexivity, have been accompanied by a new attentiveness to what Rosanvallon calls the value of proximity, as governing structures have sought to find new spaces for minorities, the particular, and the local. To improve our democracies, we need to use these new sources of legitimacy more effectively and we need to incorporate them into our accounts of democratic government.An original contribution to the vigorous international debate about democratic authority and legitimacy, this promises to be one of Rosanvallon's most important books.
The Democratic Surround: Multimedia & American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixtiesby Fred Turner
We commonly think of the psychedelic sixties as an explosion of creative energy and freedom that arose in direct revolt against the social restraint and authoritarian hierarchy of the early Cold War years. Yet, as Fred Turner reveals in The Democratic Surround, the decades that brought us the Korean War and communist witch hunts also witnessed an extraordinary turn toward explicitly democratic, open, and inclusive ideas of communication and with them new, flexible models of social order. Surprisingly, he shows that it was this turn that brought us the revolutionary multimedia and wild-eyed individualism of the 1960s counterculture. In this prequel to his celebrated book From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Turner rewrites the history of postwar America, showing how in the 1940s and '50s American liberalism offered a far more radical social vision than we now remember. Turner tracks the influential mid-century entwining of Bauhaus aesthetics with American social science and psychology. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the New Bauhaus in Chicago and Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Turner shows how some of the most well-known artists and intellectuals of the forties developed new models of media, new theories of interpersonal and international collaboration, and new visions of an open, tolerant, and democratic self in direct contrast to the repression and conformity associated with the fascist and communist movements. He then shows how their work shaped some of the most significant media events of the Cold War, including Edward Steichen's Family of Man exhibition, the multimedia performances of John Cage, and, ultimately, the psychedelic Be-Ins of the sixties. Turner demonstrates that by the end of the 1950s this vision of the democratic self and the media built to promote it would actually become part of the mainstream, even shaping American propaganda efforts in Europe. Overturning common misconceptions of these transformational years, The Democratic Surround shows just how much the artistic and social radicalism of the sixties owed to the liberal ideals of Cold War America, a democratic vision that still underlies our hopes for digital media today.
Democratization and Research Methods is a coherent survey and critique of both democratization research and the methodology of comparative politics. The two themes enhance each other: the democratization literature illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of various methodological approaches, and the critique of methods makes sense of the vast and bewildering democratization field. Michael Coppedge argues that each of the three main approaches in comparative politics - case studies and comparative histories, formal modeling and large-sample statistical analysis - accomplishes one fundamental research goal relatively well: 'thickness', integration and generalization, respectively. Throughout the book, comprehensive surveys of democratization research demonstrate that each approach accomplishes one of these goals well but the other two poorly. Chapters cover conceptualization and measurement, case studies and comparative histories, formal models and theories, political culture and survey research, and quantitative testing. The final chapter summarizes the state of knowledge about democratization and lays out an agenda for multi-method research.
Opportunities to "have your say," "get involved," and "join the conversation" are everywhere in public life. From crowdsourcing and town hall meetings to government experiments with social media, participatory politics increasingly seem like a revolutionary antidote to the decline of civic engagement and the thinning of the contemporary public sphere. Many argue that, with new technologies, flexible organizational cultures, and a supportive policymaking context, we now hold the keys to large-scale democratic revitalization. Democratizing Inequalities shows that the equation may not be so simple. Modern societies face a variety of structural problems that limit potentials for true democratization, as well as vast inequalities in political action and voice that are not easily resolved by participatory solutions. Popular participation may even reinforce elite power in unexpected ways. Resisting an oversimplified account of participation as empowerment, this collection of essays brings together a diverse range of leading scholars to reveal surprising insights into how dilemmas of the new public participation play out in politics and organizations. Through investigations including fights over the authenticity of business-sponsored public participation, the surge of the Tea Party, the role of corporations in electoral campaigns, and participatory budgeting practices in Brazil, Democratizing Inequalities seeks to refresh our understanding of public participation and trace the reshaping of authority in today's political environment.
Innovation is rapidly becoming democratized. Users, aided by improvements in computer and communications technology, increasingly can develop their own new products and services. These innovating users -- both individuals and firms -- often freely share their innovations with others, creating user-innovation communities and a rich intellectual commons. In Democratizing Innovation, Eric von Hippel looks closely at this emerging system of user-centered innovation. He explains why and when users find it profitable to develop new products and services for themselves, and why it often pays users to reveal their innovations freely for the use of all.The trend toward democratized innovation can be seen in software and information products -- most notably in the free and open-source software movement -- but also in physical products. Von Hippel's many examples of user innovation in action range from surgical equipment to surfboards to software security features. He shows that product and service development is concentrated among "lead users," who are ahead on marketplace trends and whose innovations are often commercially attractive.Von Hippel argues that manufacturers should redesign their innovation processes and that they should systematically seek out innovations developed by users. He points to businesses -- the custom semiconductor industry is one example -- that have learned to assist user-innovators by providing them with toolkits for developing new products. User innovation has a positive impact on social welfare, and von Hippel proposes that government policies, including R&D subsidies and tax credits, should be realigned to eliminate biases against it. The goal of a democratized user-centered innovation system, says von Hippel, is well worth striving for. An electronic version of this book is available under a Creative Commons license.
WHY IS THE PRO LIFE MOVEMENT LINKED EXCLUSIVELY WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY? IS IT POSSIBLE THAT PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE GOP ARE NOT ENAMORED WITH THE AGGRESSIVE AGENDA OF THE ABORTION LOBBY? In a shocking expose, Kristen Day reveals the agenda of the modern Democratic Party leadership, which hijacked the grassroots movement to push through Roe vs. Wade. Drawing from historical background, and her own experience in Washington, Day provides strong evidence that abortion on demand is not the mindset of real America. Discover the truth behind the abortion wars in Washington: Democratic leaders have blocked pro-life voices within the Party, such as the late Gov. Bob Casey Early leaders like Margaret Sanger pushed radical agendas that impact our culture today. See how the history of the Democratic Party has led to today's high abortion rate. Discover the bipartisan strategy needed to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Bestselling author and financial guru Harry Dent shows why we're facing a "great deflation" after five years of desperate stimulus -- and what to do about it nowThroughout his long career as an economic forecaster, Harry Dent has relied on a not-so-secret weapon: demographics. Studying the predictable things people do as they age is the ultimate tool for understanding trends. For instance, Dent can tell a client exactly when people will spend the most on potato chips. And he can explain why our economy has risen and fallen with the peak spending of generations, and why we now face a growing demographic cliff with the accelerating retirement of the Baby Boomers around the world.Dent predicted the impact of the Boomers hitting their highest growth in spending in the 1990s, when most economists saw the United States declining. And he anticipated the decline of Japan in the 1990s, when economists were proclaiming it would overtake the U.S. economy.But now, Dent argues, the fundamental demographics have turned against the United States and will hit more countries ahead. Inflation rises when a larger than usual block of younger people enter the workforce, and it wanes when large numbers of older people retire, downsize their homes, and cut their spending. The mass retirement of the Boomers won't just hold back inflation; it and massive debt deleveraging will actually cause deflation--weakening the economy the most from 2014 into 2019.Dent explores the implications of his controversial predictions. He offers advice on retirement planning, health care, real estate, education, investing, and business strategies. For instance . . .BUSINESSES should get lean and mean now. Identify segments that you can clearly dominate and sell off or shut down others. If you don't, the economy will do it for you, more painfully and less profitably.INVESTORS should sell stocks by mid-January 2014 and look to buy them back in 2015 or later at a Dow as low as 5,800.FAMILIES should wait to buy real estate in areas where home prices have gone back to where the bubble started in early 2000.GOVERNMENTS need to stop the endless stimulus that creates more bubbles and kills the middle class, and should assist in restructuring the unprecedented debt bubble of 1983-2008.Dent shows that if you take the time to understand demographic data, using it to your advantage isn't all that difficult. By following his suggestions, readers will be able to find the upside to the downturn and learn how to survive and prosper during the most challenging years ahead.
Bestselling author and financial guru Harry Dent shows why we're facing a "great deflation" after five years of desperate stimulus -- and what to do about it now Throughout his long career as an economic forecaster, Harry Dent has relied on a not-so-secret weapon: demographics. Studying the predictable things people do as they age is the ultimate tool for understanding trends. For instance, Dent can tell a client exactly when people will spend the most on potato chips. And he can explain why our economy has risen and fallen with the peak spending of generations, and why we now face a growing demographic cliff with the accelerating retirement of the Baby Boomers around the world. Dent predicted the impact of the Boomers hitting their highest growth in spending in the 1990s, when most economists saw the United States declining. And he anticipated the decline of Japan in the 1990s, when economists were proclaiming it would overtake the U.S. economy. But now, Dent argues, the fundamental demographics have turned against the United States and will hit more countries ahead. Inflation rises when a larger than usual block of younger people enter the workforce, and it wanes when large numbers of older people retire, downsize their homes, and cut their spending. The mass retirement of the Boomers won't just hold back inflation; it and massive debt deleveraging will actually cause deflation--weakening the economy the most from 2014 into 2019. Dent explores the implications of his controversial predictions. He offers advice on retirement planning, health care, real estate, education, investing, and business strategies. For instance . . . BUSINESSES should get lean and mean now. Identify segments that you can clearly dominate and sell off or shut down others. If you don't, the economy will do it for you, more painfully and less profitably. INVESTORS should sell stocks by mid-January 2014 and look to buy them back in 2015 or later at a Dow as low as 5,800. FAMILIES should wait to buy real estate in areas where home prices have gone back to where the bubble started in early 2000. GOVERNMENTS need to stop the endless stimulus that creates more bubbles and kills the middle class, and should assist in restructuring the unprecedented debt bubble of 1983-2008. Dent shows that if you take the time to understand demographic data, using it to your advantage isn't all that difficult. By following his suggestions, readers will be able to find the upside to the downturn and learn how to survive and prosper during the most challenging years ahead.
Demographic Gaps in American Political Behavior examines the political behavior of various groups in the United States in an effort to demonstrate how demographic backgrounds and socialization affect political behavior. Media coverage has disproportionately focused on the red state versus blue state divide, leaving the impression that American political behavior is determined solely by place of residence. This, however, ignores the numerous other political divides that exist in the United States today. In order to better conceptualize the landscape of American political behavior, Patrick Fisher analyzes the political gaps in six different demographics-income, religion, gender, race, age, and geography-and examines the effect these political gaps have on public opinion, policy, and party positioning. Written in an accessible fashion, Demographic Gaps in American Political Behavior uses contemporary examples and data from the 2008 and 2012 elections to help readers understand how and why demographic background has the potential to greatly influence political opinions and behavior.
A report on the statistics of blindness from an international point of view.
Most of the world's blindness could be prevented, and the attack on it and its consequences proceeds apace through such organizations as the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and the World Health Organization. For greatest effectiveness, their programs must be based upon accurate data, as a WHO study quoted here by Dr. Goldstein makes clear: "In order to establish appropriate priorities for prevention and treatment at the national and international level, it is essential that reliable up-to-date statistical data on prevalence, age of onset, and causes of blindness be obtained." But even in the United States, where collection of data on blindness began in 1830, there are still no reliable trend data. In much of the rest of the world data are fragmentary, and data that would allow valid country by country comparisons are almost non-existent. Dr. Goldstein has done a valuable service in pulling together such statistics as can be found, and in discussing their weaknesses and strengths.
This book provides a fresh perspective on the population history of Italy during the late Republic. It employs a range of sources and a multidisciplinary approach to investigate demographic trends and the demographic behaviour of Roman citizens. Dr Hin shows how they adapted to changing economic, climatic and social conditions in a period of intense conquest. Her critical evaluation of the evidence on the demographic toll taken by warfare and rising societal complexity leads her to a revisionist 'middle count' scenario of population development in Italy. In tracing the population history of an ancient conquest society, she provides an accessible pathway into Roman demography which focuses on the three main demographic parameters - mortality, fertility and migration. She unites literary and epigraphic sources with demographic theory, archaeological surveys, climatic and skeletal evidence, models and comparative data. Tables, figures and maps enable readers to visualise the quantitative dynamics at work.
In a world policed by telepaths, Ben Reich plans to commit a crime that hasn't been heard of in 70 years: murder. That's the only option left for Reich, whose company is losing a 10-year death struggle with rival D'Courtney Enterprises. Terrorized in his dreams by The Man With No Face and driven to the edge after D'Courtney refuses a merger offer, Reich murders his rival and bribes a high-ranking telepath to help him cover his tracks. But while police prefect Lincoln Powell knows Reich is guilty, his telepath's knowledge is a far cry from admissible evidence.<P><P> Hugo Award winner.
One of the most popular misconceptions by people who have walked away from the Church and their faith is that the Bible contains errors or inaccurate accounts. Many people also simply accept without question the claim by others that the Bible is full of contradictions. Even more disturbing is that a growing number of Christians are unable to respond when presented with an apparent inconsistency in the Bible. Now in a bold defense for the accuracy of Scripture, Ken Ham leads a powerful team of contributors in providing core biblical truths to help refute claims regarding the inaccuracy of God's Holy Word. Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions: * Addresses over 40 issues of contention in the Old and New Testaments including Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Matthew, John, Acts, and Revelation * Contains vital and relevant context by Steve Fazekas, Bodie Hodge, Roger Patterson, Stacia McKeever, Gary Vaterlaus, Dr. Jason Lisle, Paul F. Taylor, John Upchurch, and Dr. Georgia Purdom * Equips you to accurately defend your faith while challenging secular or humanistic agendas With nearly two-thirds of young people leaving the Church when they move from home, there has never been a more important time to have a reasoned response for those who desire only to undermine your faith. This book is a great starting point in teaching you how to think and then respond to false claims regarding the Bible. It is imperative that believers are able to stand firm in their faith, and have answers to the culture's attacks on the Bible.