Hearing the Other Side

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521847506
Release Date: 2006-03-13
Genre: Political Science

This study examines how people interact with those whose political views differ from their own in the context of the contemporary United States. It links political theory and empirical research and suggests that it is doubtful that an extremely activist political culture can also be a heavily deliberative one.

Hearing the Other Side

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139936637
Release Date: 2006-03-13
Genre: Political Science

'Religion and politics', as the old saying goes, 'should never be discussed in mixed company.'And yet fostering discussions that cross lines of political difference has long been a central concern of political theorists. More recently, it has also become a cause célèbre for pundits and civic-minded citizens wanting to improve the health of American democracy. But only recently have scholars begun empirical investigations of where and with what consequences people interact with those whose political views differ from their own. Hearing the Other Side examines this theme in the context of the contemporary United States. It is unique in its effort to link political theory with empirical research. Drawing on her empirical work, Mutz suggests that it is doubtful that an extremely activist political culture can also be a heavily deliberative one.

In Your Face Politics

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400865871
Release Date: 2015-03-22
Genre: Political Science

Americans are disgusted with watching politicians screaming and yelling at one another on television. But does all the noise really make a difference? Drawing on numerous studies, Diana Mutz provides the first comprehensive look at the consequences of in-your-face politics. Her book contradicts the conventional wisdom by documenting both the benefits and the drawbacks of in-your-face media. "In-your-face" politics refers to both the level of incivility and the up-close and personal way that we experience political conflict on television. Just as actual physical closeness intensifies people's emotional reactions to others, the appearance of closeness on a video screen has similar effects. We tend to keep our distance from those with whom we disagree. Modern media, however, puts those we dislike in our faces in a way that intensifies our negative reactions. Mutz finds that incivility is particularly detrimental to facilitating respect for oppositional political viewpoints and to citizens' levels of trust in politicians and the political process. On the positive side, incivility and close-up camera perspectives contribute to making politics more physiologically arousing and entertaining to viewers. This encourages more attention to political programs, stimulates recall of the content, and encourages people to relay content to others. In the end, In-Your-Face Politics demonstrates why political incivility is not easily dismissed as a disservice to democracy—it may even be a necessity in an age with so much competition for citizens' attention.

Democracy and Deliberation

Author: James S. Fishkin
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300051638
Release Date: 1991
Genre: Political Science

Proposes a new kind of democracy that would give citizens more power in nominating the president by incorporating a national caucus in which a representative sample of American citizens would explore and define issues with the candidates before voting

The Ethics of Voting

Author: Jason Brennan
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691154442
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Philosophy

Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote. Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes. In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't. In a new afterword, "How to Vote Well," Brennan provides a practical guidebook for making well-informed, well-reasoned choices at the polls.

Impersonal Influence

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521637260
Release Date: 1998-11-28
Genre: Political Science

People's perceptions of the attitudes and experiences of mass collectives are an increasingly important force in contemporary political life. In Impersonal Influence, Mutz goes beyond simply providing examples of how impersonal influence matters in the political process to provide a micro-level understanding of why information about distant and impersonal others often influence people's political attitudes and behaviors. Impersonal Influence is worthy of attention both from the standpoint of its impact on contemporary politics, and because of its potential to expand the boundaries of our understanding of social influence processes, and media's relation to them. The book's conclusions do not exonerate media from the effects of inaccurate portrayals of collective experience or opinion, but they suggest that the ways in which people are influenced by these perceptions are in themselves, not so much deleterious to democracy as absolutely necessary to promoting accountability in a large scale society.

Who Counts as an American

Author: Elizabeth Theiss-Morse
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139488914
Release Date: 2009-07-27
Genre: Political Science

Why is national identity such a potent force in people's lives? And is the force positive or negative? In this thoughtful and provocative book, Elizabeth Theiss-Morse develops a social theory of national identity and uses a national survey, focus groups, and experiments to answer these important questions in the American context. Her results show that the combination of group commitment and the setting of exclusive boundaries on the national group affects how people behave toward their fellow Americans. Strong identifiers care a great deal about their national group. They want to help and to be loyal to their fellow Americans. By limiting who counts as an American, though, these strong identifiers place serious limits on who benefits from their pro-group behavior. Help and loyalty are offered only to 'true Americans,' not Americans who do not count and who are pushed to the periphery of the national group.

Political Disagreement

Author: Robert Huckfeldt
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521542235
Release Date: 2004-07-12
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

Political disagreement is widespread within the communication network of ordinary citizens; furthermore, political diversity within these networks is entirely consistent with a theory of democratic politics built on the importance of individual interdependence. The persistence of political diversity and disagreement does not imply that political interdependence is absent among citizens or that political influence is lacking. The book's analysis makes a number of contributions. The authors demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of political disagreement. They show that communication and influence within dyads is autoregressive - that the consequences of dyadic interactions depend on the distribution of opinions within larger networks of communication. They argue that the autoregressive nature of political influence serves to sustain disagreement within patterns of social interaction, as it restores the broader political relevance of social communication and influence. They eliminate the deterministic implications that have typically been connected to theories of democratic politics based on interdependent citizens.

Strong Democracy

Author: Benjamin R. Barber
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520242335
Release Date: 2003
Genre: History

"One of the chosen few: an enduring contribution to democratic thought."--Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times

Author: Nancy Gina Bermeo
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691089701
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Political Science

Based on extensive research, this book overturns the common wisdom. It shows that the German experience was exceptional, that people's affinity for particular political positions are surprisingly stable, and that what is often labeled polarization is the result not of vote switching but of such factors as expansion of the franchise, elite defections, and the mobilization of new voters. Democratic collapses are caused less by changes in popular preferences than by the actions of political elites who polarize themselves and mistake the actions of a few for the preferences of the many. These conclusions are drawn from the study of twenty cases, including every democracy that collapsed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in interwar Europe, every South American democracy that fell to the Right after the Cuban Revolution, and three democracies that avoided breakdown despite serious economic and political challenges.

Talking Together

Author: Lawrence R. Jacobs
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226389899
Release Date: 2009-08-01
Genre: Social Science

Challenging the conventional wisdom that Americans are less engaged than ever in national life and the democratic process, Talking Together paints the most comprehensive portrait available of public deliberation in the United States and explains why it is important to America’s future. The authors’ original and extensive research reveals how, when, and why citizens talk to each other about the issues of the day. They find that—in settings ranging from one-on-one conversations to e-mail exchanges to larger and more formal gatherings—a surprising two-thirds of Americans regularly participate in public discussions about such pressing issues as the Iraq War, economic development, and race relations. Pinpointing the real benefits of public discourse while considering arguments that question its importance, Talking Together presents an authoritative and clear-eyed assessment of deliberation’s function in American governance. In the process, it offers concrete recommendations for increasing the power of talk to foster political action.

Children in the Global Sex Trade

Author: Julia O'Connell Davidson
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 9780745629278
Release Date: 2005-01
Genre: Social Science

This compelling new book explores the complexities of the global child sex industry, but without falling into cliche and melodrama. Julia O'Connell Davidson draws attention to the multitude of ways in which children become implicated in the sex trade, and the devastating global political and economic inequalities that underpin their involvement. She sensitively unpicks the relationship between different aspects of the sexual exploitation of children, including trafficking, prostitution and pornography, at the same time challenging popular conceptions of childhood and sexuality. This thought-provoking book will be of interest to general readers, and to students taking a range of courses, such as gender studies and childhood studies, and courses on sexuality and globalisation.

Population Based Survey Experiments

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400840481
Release Date: 2011-07-05
Genre: Social Science

Population-based survey experiments have become an invaluable tool for social scientists struggling to generalize laboratory-based results, and for survey researchers besieged by uncertainties about causality. Thanks to technological advances in recent years, experiments can now be administered to random samples of the population to which a theory applies. Yet until now, there was no self-contained resource for social scientists seeking a concise and accessible overview of this methodology, its strengths and weaknesses, and the unique challenges it poses for implementation and analysis. Drawing on examples from across the social sciences, this book covers everything you need to know to plan, implement, and analyze the results of population-based survey experiments. But it is more than just a "how to" manual. This lively book challenges conventional wisdom about internal and external validity, showing why strong causal claims need not come at the expense of external validity, and how it is now possible to execute experiments remotely using large-scale population samples. Designed for social scientists across the disciplines, Population-Based Survey Experiments provides the first complete introduction to this methodology. Offers the most comprehensive treatment of the subject Features a wealth of examples and practical advice Reexamines issues of internal and external validity Can be used in conjunction with downloadable data from ExperimentCentral.org for design and analysis exercises in the classroom

Slow Democracy

Author: Susan Clark
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603584135
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Political Science

Reconnecting with the sources of decisions that affect us, and with the processes of democracy itself, is at the heart of 21st-century sustainable communities. Slow Democracy chronicles the ways in which ordinary people have mobilized to find local solutions to local problems. It invites us to bring the advantages of "slow" to our community decision making. Just as slow food encourages chefs and eaters to become more intimately involved with the production of local food, slow democracy encourages us to govern ourselves locally with processes that are inclusive, deliberative, and citizen powered. Susan Clark and Woden Teachout outline the qualities of real, local decision making and show us the range of ways that communities are breathing new life into participatory democracy around the country. We meet residents who seize back control of their municipal water systems from global corporations, parents who find unique solutions to seemingly divisive school-redistricting issues, and a host of other citizens across the nation who have designed local decision-making systems to solve the problems unique to their area in ways that work best for their communities. Though rooted in the direct participation that defined our nation's early days, slow democracy is not a romantic vision for reigniting the ways of old. Rather, the strategies outlined here are uniquely suited to 21st-century technologies and culture.If our future holds an increased focus on local food, local energy, and local economy, then surely we will need to improve our skills at local governance as well.