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Domestic Perspectives on Contemporary Democracy

Peter F. Nardulli

Publication Year: 2008

In looking at the remarkable proliferation of democracies since 1974, this volume offers important insight into the challenges and opportunities that democracy faces in the twenty-first century. Distinguished contributors detail the contemporary threats to democracy emanating from internal sources such as tensions arising over technology and its uses; ethnic, religious, and racial distinctions; and disparate access to resources, education, and employment. _x000B__x000B_Contributors are W. Lance Bennett, Bruce Bimber, Jon Fraenkel, Brian J. Gaines, Bernard Grofman, Wayne V. McIntosh, Peter F. Nardulli, Mark Q. Sawyer, Stephen Simon, Paul M. Sniderman, and Jack Snyder._x000B_

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: Democracy, Free Enterprise, and the Rule of Law

front cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

As a form of government, democracy enjoyed unparalleled prestige as the twenty-first century began. The most prosperous nations in the world were democracies. Moreover, democracy’s “third wave” had generated an unprecedented number of new republics in southern and eastern Europe as well as Latin America. ...

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1. Democracy Challenged: Demography, Technology, and Democratic Possibilities

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pp. 1-8

By its very nature, democracy is messy and chaotic, akin to making sausage. It is hardly surprising, then, that the process of establishing, maintaining, and improving democracy has been challenging and untidy since its reappearance in the eighteenth century. ...

Part I: Social Heterogeneity and Democracy: Challenges and Opportunities

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2. Problems of Democratic Transition in Divided Societies

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pp. 11-32

Moments of transition toward democracy are fraught with the danger of violence in ethnically divided societies. Democratization is typically intertwined with the rise of nationalism, a doctrine that demands self-rule for the nation. At such heady moments, nationalist movements in multiethnic societies often forge competing national aspirations. ...

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3. Citizens, Identities, and Democratic Dialogues: Opportunities and Challenges of Diverse Societies

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pp. 33-50

The twentieth century began with W. E. B. Du Bois stating that the problem of the twentieth century would be “the color line.” Du Bois’s judgment was correct then and it is a safe bet that race and ethnicity will play an equally important role in the twenty-first century, particularly in the politics of democratic regimes. ...

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4. Democracy, Diversity, and Leadership

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pp. 51-70

The problem of “diversity” was once thought to be a distinctively American problem—An American Dilemma, Myrdal called it. It was not, of course, that intolerance was thought to be peculiarly American. Hitler, after all, was in his heyday as Myrdal wrote. ...

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5. Electoral Engineering, Social Cleavages, and Democracy

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pp. 71-102

This chapter focuses on the potential for electoral engineering to serve as a tool to foster democracy, with a central concern being the role of electoral systems in mitigating ethnic conflict.1 With democracy’s “third wave” having produced a large number of new (or “renewed”) democracies, and numerous countries aspiring to become democracies, ...

Part II: Technology and Democracy: Mass-Elite Linkages in the Twenty-first Century

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6. Technological Advances and Individual Liberties: Privacy and the Reach of the State in the Twenty-first Century

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pp. 105-130

Privacy is a core component of a democracy, especially one whose governing structure is built upon notions of self-government and self-determination. Although the U.S. Constitution does not articulate it specifically as a corollary of democracy, individual privacy represents an important aspect of several rights itemized in the Bill of Rights;

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7. Engineering Consent: The Persistence of a Problematic Communication Regime

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pp. 131-154

In the early decades of the twentieth century, the emerging consensus among many elites, including public intellectuals such as Walter Lippmann, was that publics were so explosive and potentially threatening to national interests that governance required the new art of public relations to engineer consent. ...

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8. The Internet and Political Fragmentation

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pp. 155-170

Democracy requires the successful management of divisions in society. Often, the divisions of greatest concern for the health of democracy involve large-scale, persistent cleavages along well-demarcated lines: divisions within a state between linguistic or ethnic groups, or between regions with divergent economic structures and interests. ...

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pp. 171-174

W. Lance Bennett is a professor of political science and the Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor of Communication at the University of Washington, where he also directs the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement (www.engagedcitizen.org). ...


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pp. 175-178

back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780252091971
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252033193

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Democracy, Free Enterprise, and the Rule of Law
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OCLC Number: 811408997
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Domestic Perspectives on Contemporary Democracy

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Subject Headings

  • Democracy.
  • Cultural pluralism.
  • Political sociology.
  • Information society -- Political aspects.
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