American Democracy in Peril: Eight Challenges to America's Future, 7th Edition

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-15
  • Publisher: Cq Pr

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With the economic crisis, intense partisan gridlock, and social movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, American Democracy in Peril encapsulates the tumultuous state of American politics more than ever. Hudson's provocative book offers a structured, yet critical look at the functioning of the American political system. This new edition incorporates the far-ranging impact of the Obama presidency-and the polarization that has accompanied it-along with these key updates: New discussion of the barriers of the separation of powers system, including the tortured politics of health care reform, the threats of government shutdown over deficit reform, and the use of institutional vetoes to prevent economic stimulus measures. New developments from the last election cycles, including changes in party politics, campaign funding, campaign media technologies and social media, and efforts at voter suppression. Fresh examination of the financial deregulation that led to the crisis, the massive financial bailout, and rising economic inequality. New insight regarding Obama's continuity with Bush-era national security practices from the use of secrecy to centralized executive control of policy.

Author Biography

William E. Hudson is professor of political science at Providence College, where he teaches courses in American politics and public policy. He currently serves as director of the Public Administration Program and was the founding director of the Feinstein Institute for Public Service. He is the author of The Libertarian Illusion, also published by CQ Press, and Experiencing Citizenship: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Political Science (with-Richard Battistoni). Hudson has published numerous articles on public policy issues in journals such as Political Science Quarterly, Polity, Western Political Quarterly, Economic Development Quarterly, and Policy Studies Journal.

Table of Contents

Tables and Figuresp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introduction: Models of Democracyp. 1
Precursors to Modern Democratic Theoryp. 3
Protective Democracyp. 8
Developmental Democracyp. 10
Pluralist Democracyp. 12
Participatory Democracyp. 15
The Models Comparedp. 18
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 23
The First Challenge: Separation of Powersp. 25
The Founders' Workp. 26
The Jeffersonian Modelp. 29
The Separation of Powers and Democratic Valuesp. 32
The Parliamentary Alternativep. 50
Meeting the Challenge: Bridging the Separation of Powersp. 59
Thought Questionsp. 62
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 63
Selected Websitesp. 65
The Second Challenge: The Imperial Judiciaryp. 67
The Least Democratic Branchp. 71
A Brief History of Judicial Reviewp. 73
Two Cases of Judicial Usurpationp. 81
Can Judicial Review Be Made Consistent With Democracy?p. 88
The Judicialization of American Politics as a Challenge to Democracyp. 95
Meeting the Challenge: Revitalize American Democracyp. 98
Thought Questionsp. 101
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 101
Selected Websitesp. 103
The Third Challenge: Radical Individualismp. 105
Individualism in the American Traditionp. 107
American "Habits of the Heart"p. 111
The Flaws of Libertarianismp. 116
Our Pathological Politics of Rights and Interestsp. 125
The Failed Opportunity to Build Community After 9/11p. 131
Meeting the Challenge: Balancing Rights With Responsibilitiesp. 133
Thought Questionsp. 135
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 136
Selected Websitesp. 137
The Fourth Challenge: Citizen Participationp. 139
Citizen Participation and Democratic Theoryp. 140
Citizen Political Participationp. 143
Signs of Civic Disengagementp. 153
The New Citizen Activismp. 158
Participation as a Challenge to Democracyp. 161
Meeting the Challenge: More Participation, Not Lessp. 168
Thought Questionsp. 171
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 171
Selected Websitesp. 173
The Fifth Challenge: Elections Without the People's Voicep. 175
Equal Representationp. 177
Deliberationp. 193
Controlp. 206
Meeting the Challenge: Reform Electoral institutions, Promote Democratic Deliberationp. 214
Thought Questionsp. 219
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 219
Selected Websitesp. 220
The Sixth Challenge: The "Privileged Position" of Businessp. 223
American Politics as Pluralist Heavenp. 224
Business: The Privileged Groupp. 227
Why Business Privilege Is a Threat to Democracyp. 242
Objections to the Privileged-Position-of-Business Thesisp. 250
Meeting the Challenge: Democratic Action to Reduce Business Privilegep. 255
Thought Questionsp. 258
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 259
Selected Websitesp. 260
The Seventh Challenge: Economic Inequalityp. 263
Equality and Democratic Theoryp. 266
The End of the American Dream?p. 272
Economic Inequality's Challenge to Democracyp. 296
Meeting the Challenge: Policies to Promote Equalityp. 300
Thought Questionsp. 305
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 305
Selected Websitesp. 306
The Eighth Challenge: The National Security Statep. 309
The Burgeoning of the National Security Statep. 311
Secrecyp. 320
Centralizationp. 326
Repressionp. 334
Distortionp. 340
Meeting the Challenge: Reform to Achieve True Securityp. 349
Thought Questionsp. 354
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 354
Selected Websitesp. 356
Notesp. 357
Indexp. 399
About the Authorp. 433
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