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Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Government?

Stephen J. Wayne, Editor

Publication Year: 2004

Has our system of checks and balances between the three branches of our federal government undergone changes for good or ill over the years since the Constitution was set as the cornerstone of our nation? How stand our political traditions, our personal freedoms, our purported equality, our sense of governance of, by, and for the people? Are we the democratic nation we set out to be, or do we have a distance to go to achieve this ideal? Alternatively, is approaching a democratic ideal desirable today in the light of the smaller, more integrated, and dangerous world in which we live? Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Government? examines the theory and practice of American democracy and the dichotomy that currently exists between them. The contributors assess both the reasonsùand the consequencesùof this division between the theory of democracy and how it is played out in actuality. Focusing on the here and now, this book is about the institutions, process, and politics of government: how well they work; whether they meet the criteria for a viable democratic system; and the extent to which they contribute to good public policy. As we begin the 21st century, with rancorous political partisanship and threats to domestic security and tranquility at an all-time high, Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Government? asks us to think seriously about the state of our much-heralded democracy, and whether or not our political system can respond to the pressing needs of a new era without jeopardizing the basic values and beliefs that underlie its very foundation.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Contents

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pp. 6-7

Figures

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p. 8-8

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Tables

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pp. 8-9

...4.2 Ratio of Spending in Congressional Races, 2000 versus 1980 533.4 Social Characteristics of Donors and General Public, 1996 413.6 Political Attitudes: Conservatives/Liberals, Major Donors 446.2 Diversity in the Federal Workforce: Percentages of Positions6.4 Occupational Status of Federal Executives’ Fathers, by Year 88...

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Preface

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pp. 10-15

Americans believe that democracy isthe most desirable form of govern-ment. They have confidence in the...

Part I: Democratic Theory

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Chapter 1 Issues of Democratic Governance

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pp. 18-35

Most of the theoretical and empiricalstudies of American democracy fo-cus on participation by the public in...

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Chapter 2 The Civic Foundations of American Democracy

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pp. 36-47

In 2001 the New York City chapter of theLeague of Women Voters was about toshut its doors. A declining and aging mem-...

Part II: A Democratic Congress?

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Chapter 3 Campaign Contributions and Democracy

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pp. 50-65

On March 27, 2002, President George W.Bush signed the Bipartisan Campaign Fi-Percentage who say reason is “very important” in making contributions All MajorPercentage who say factor is “always important” in making contributionaNumber of respondents weighted to reflect unequal probabilities of selection....

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Chapter 4 Money and the Possibility of Democratic Governance

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pp. 66-83

On almost any day of the week you canfind members of Congress locked awayin cubicles in their national party head-Source: Federal Election Commission 2001 and author’s calculations.Senate Jon Corzine D-N.J. $60,200,967 $63,209,506 Won general electionSenate Mark Dayton D-Minn. 11,772,067 11,957,114 Won general electionSenate Maria Cantwell D-Wash. 10,331,911 11,571,697 Won general election...

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Chapter 5 Women in Congress: Descriptive Representation and Democratic Governance

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pp. 84-97

The majority of the U.S. population and52 percent of eligible voters—residentsage eighteen and older—are women...

Part III: A Democratic Executive?

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Chapter 6 A Government That Looks Like America?

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pp. 100-115

Citizens and scholars alike have long per-ceived a natural tension between de-mocracy and bureaucracy—a tensionSource: Office of Personnel Management Demographic Profile, September 2000; available at www.opm.gov/feddata/demograp/demograp.asp.Table 6.4 Occupational Status of Federal Executives’ Fathers, by Year(percentage of federal executives who report to political appointees)Table 6.2 Diversity in the Federal Workforce: Percentages of Positions...

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Chapter 7 The Promise and Peril of Presidential Polling: Between Gallup’s Dream and the Morris Nightmare

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pp. 116-129

In 1939 pioneering pollster George Gallupbelieved that surveying would solve many...

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Chapter 8 Democratic Government and the Unilateral Presidency

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pp. 130-139

In the 1960s, Richard Neustadt argued thatseparated institutions with shared powersare the hallmarks of American govern-Source: Data compiled by author from Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.Source: Data compiled by author from Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.Source: Data compiled by author from monthly and annual tabulation of significant...

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Chapter 9 Can the Federal Budget Be Democratic?

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pp. 140-157

Tensions exist in any democratic govern-ment. There are tensions between serv-ing special interests and serving the...

Part IV: A Democratic Judiciary?

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Chapter 10 Does a Real Democracy Need Judicial Review? The Supreme Court as an Antidemocratic Institution

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pp. 160-171

Constitutional scholarship on the issue ofjudicial review frequently seems to be a...

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Chapter 11 Entering the “Political Thicket”: The Unintended Consequences of the Supreme Court’s Reapportionment Decisions

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pp. 172-187

As Thomas Jefferson articulated in his firstInaugural Address, the American politi-...

Conclusion

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Chapter 12 Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Government?

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pp. 190-195

We began our study by asking two ba-sic questions: How democratic is thegovernment of the United States?...

Contributors

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pp. 196-197

Index

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pp. 198-206


E-ISBN-13: 9781589013490
E-ISBN-10: 1589013492
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589010055
Print-ISBN-10: 1589010051

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2004

Series Editor Byline: