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Democracy for Realists by Christopher H. Achen

Title Democracy for Realists
Author Christopher H. Achen
Publisher Princeton University Press
Release 2017-08-29
Category Political Science
Total Pages 408
ISBN 0691178240
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

Title Summary Analysis Review of Christopher H Achen s Larry M Bartels s Democracy for Realists by Instaread
Author Instaread
Publisher Instaread
Release 2016-12-06
Category Study Aids
Total Pages 43
ISBN 1683786181
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Summary, Analysis & Review of Christopher H. Achen’s & Larry M. Bartels’s Democracy for Realists by Instaread Preview: Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government offers a critique of conventional wisdom surrounding popular theories of democracy. Authors Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels argue that the public, journalists, and political scientists rely on a group of common-sense understandings of democracy. The authors collectively refer to these beliefs as the “folk theory” of democracy. The folk theory presumes that people behave as engaged citizens and that election outcomes reflect public policy preferences. This assumption is inaccurate and misleading, and therefore presents a danger to democracy. Political scientists have tried in various ways to validate or systematize the intuitions on which the folk theory in based. Anthony Downs put forward a spatial model of voting, which supposes that individuals vote for the politicians who are closest to their own policy preferences. According to that theory, victorious politicians are the ones who can best align their policies with those… PLEASE NOTE: This is a Summary, Analysis & Review of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Summary, Analysis & Review of Christopher H. Achen’s & Larry M. Bartels’s Democracy for Realists by Instaread · Overview of the Book · Important People · Key Takeaways · Analysis of Key Takeaways About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience. Visit our website at instaread.co.

Democracy for Realists by Christopher H. Achen

Title Democracy for Realists
Author Christopher H. Achen
Publisher Princeton University Press
Release 2017-08-29
Category Political Science
Total Pages 408
ISBN 1400888743
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Why our belief in government by the people is unrealistic—and what we can do about it Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

Democracy and Foreign Policy by Miroslav Nincic

Title Democracy and Foreign Policy
Author Miroslav Nincic
Publisher McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
Release 1994-03-23
Category Political Science
Total Pages 200
ISBN 9780231076692
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Democracy and Foreign Policy: The Fallacy of Political Realism challenges the belief that liberal democracy is incompatible with a wise and effective foreign policy. Miroslav Nincic demonstrates that if any such incompatibility exists, it is rooted in the incentives of professional politicians rather than in the impulses that drive the public and its legislative representatives. When we look at the intersection of U.S. domestic political arrangements and the nation's foreign policy, our gaze is often misdirected by erroneous and often harmful assumptions about the appropriate domestic setting for the conduct of foreign affairs. First, Nincic focuses on the effect of democratic practices and institutions on the efficacy and wisdom of international dealings, especially with rival nations. Nincic next examines the pursuit and consequences on some of the central aspects of our democracy, including the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches, civil liberties, and government openness. A challenge to political realists' contention that democracy impedes the sound conduct of foreign policy, Democracy and Foreign Policy will be of particular interest to scholars and policymakers in international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and diplomatic history.

A Realist Looks at Democracy by Maurice Alderton Pink

Title A Realist Looks at Democracy
Author Maurice Alderton Pink
Publisher
Release 1930
Category Civilization, Western
Total Pages 215
ISBN
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Politics Recovered by Matt Sleat

Title Politics Recovered
Author Matt Sleat
Publisher Columbia University Press
Release 2018-03-13
Category Political Science
Total Pages 396
ISBN 0231547552
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Is political theory political enough? Or does a tendency toward abstraction, idealization, moralism, and utopianism leave contemporary political theory out of touch with real politics as it actually takes place, and hence unable to speak meaningfully to or about our world? In recent years, political theory has seen a revival of interest in realism as an approach to thinking about politics. Realism seeks to avoid such pitfalls by remaining focused on politics itself, giving greater emphasis to the realities and distinctiveness of politics and the ways they ought to shape how we think and act in the political realm. Politics Recovered brings together prominent scholars to develop the idea of what it might mean to theorize politics “realistically.” The volume contributes to philosophical debates such as the relationship between politics and morality and the role that facts and emotions should play in the theorization of political values. It addresses how a realist approach aids our understanding of pressing issues such as global justice, inequality, poverty, political corruption, the value of democracy, governmental secrecy, and demands for transparency. And several chapters open up fruitful dialogues with other varieties of realist approaches, from feminist theory, democratic theory, and international relations.By exploring the nature, distinctiveness, and prospects of realist thought, Politics Recovered shows how political theory can affirm reality in order to provide meaningful and compelling answers to the fundamental questions of political life.

Title Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy
Author Alan Gilbert
Publisher
Release 1999
Category Political Science
Total Pages 316
ISBN 9780691001814
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

As each power vies for its national interests on the world stage, how do its own citizens' democratic interests fare at home? Alan Gilbert speaks to an issue at the heart of current international-relations debate. He contends that, in spite of neo-realists' assumptions, a vocal citizen democracy can and must have a role in global politics. Further, he shows that all the major versions of realism and neo-realism, if properly stated with a view of the national interest as a common good, surprisingly lead to democracy. His most striking example focuses on realist criticisms of the Vietnam War. Democratic internationalism, as Gilbert terms it, is really the linking of citizens' interests across national boundaries to overcome the antidemocratic actions of their own governments. Realist misinterpretations have overlooked Thucydides' theme about how a democracy corrupts itself through imperial expansion as well as Karl Marx's observations about the positive effects of democratic movements in one country on events in others. Gilbert also explodes the democratic peace myth that democratic states do not wage war on one another. He suggests instead policies to accord with the interests of ordinary citizens whose shared bond is a desire for peace. Gilbert shows, through such successes as recent treaties on land mines and policies to slow global warming that citizen movements can have salutary effects. His theory of "deliberative democracy" proposes institutional changes that would give the voice of ordinary citizens a greater influence on the international actions of their own government.

Title The Political Economy of European Social Democracy
Author David J. Bailey
Publisher Routledge
Release 2009-05-19
Category Political Science
Total Pages 208
ISBN 1135268746
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book takes an in-depth look into recent developments in European social democracy. It begins by highlighting the somewhat paradoxical turn by a number of social democratic parties towards enhanced support for European integration, a move that has occurred despite the apparently ‘neoliberal’ direction of much of EU policy-output. A critical realist method is adopted, informed by both Marxist and anarchist critiques of social democratic parties, to argue that we can view this paradoxical development as resulting from the inherently unstable representation of constituents’ demands for decommodification, a process central to traditional social democratic parties. In making this argument, the book traces the transformation from ‘traditional’ to ‘new’ (or ‘third way’) social democratic parties in the UK, Sweden, France, Italy and Spain. It also outlines some of the most important developments in social democratic policy-making at the European level. The book therefore provides an in-depth, theoretically-original, analytical narrative of the key empirical developments to affect contemporary social democratic parties in recent years. In highlighting some of the contradictions inherent to both ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ social democratic parties, the book does much to suggest some of the reasons for their continued decline over the past three decades. David Bailey completed his PhD at the London School of Economics, and currently teaches at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on social democratic parties and European integration. He has published articles in the Journal of Common Market Studies, and Comparative European Politics.

The Semisovereign People by Elmer Eric Schattschneider

Title The Semisovereign People
Author Elmer Eric Schattschneider
Publisher Wadsworth Publishing Company
Release 1975
Category Political Science
Total Pages 143
ISBN 9780030133664
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book started out to be an attempt to formulate a theory of political organization. While the emphasis has shifted somewhat in the course of the writing, it is still a book about political organization, an attempt to work out a theory about the relation between organization and conflict, the relation between political organization and democracy, and the organizational alternatives open to the American people. The assumption made throughout is that the nature of political organization depends on the conflicts exploited in the political system, which ultimately is what politics is about. The thesis is that we shall never understand politics unless we know what the struggle is about. The great problem in American politics is: What makes things happen? We might understand the dynamics of American politics if we knew what is going on when things are happening. What is the process of change? What does change look like? These questions are worth asking because obviously tremendous things are going on in American public affairs, even in quiet times... To understand why Americans generally have been unconscious of the process of change it is necessary to take a new look at the dynamics of American politics. Throughout this book the emphasis has been on the dynamic character of the American political system. The concepts formulated here constitute an attack on all political theories, all research techniques and concepts tending to show that American politics is a meaningless stalemate about which no one can do anything. Because so much is going on, one object of the book is to show the need for a new public policy about politics.--from the Preface.

Democracy and Complexity by Danilo Zolo

Title Democracy and Complexity
Author Danilo Zolo
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Release 2013-07-15
Category Political Science
Total Pages 214
ISBN 074566931X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book is a highly original and provocative contribution to democratic theory. Zolo argues that the increasing complexity of modern societies represents a fundamental challenge to the basic assumptions of the Western democratic tradition and calls for a reformulation of some of the key questions of political theory. Zolo maintains that, as modern societies become more complex and more involved in the `information revolution', they are subjected to new and unprecedented forms of evolutionary stress - as manifested, for instance, in the growing autonomy and power of political parties, and in new kinds of political communication which create and sustain the fiction of consensus. These forms of stress have become so serious that they threaten to undermine some of the values traditionally associated with democracy, such as the rationality and autonomy of the individual, and the visibility and accountability of power.

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