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Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (Princeton Studies in Political Behavior Book 4) by [Achen, Christopher H., Bartels, Larry M.]
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Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (Princeton Studies in Political Behavior Book 4) Kindle Edition

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Length: 413 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
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"Democracy for Realists has the potential to become a classic. It raises questions that every democratic theorist and practitioner should take seriously. It is certain to provoke significant discussion."--Jane Mansbridge, Harvard University
"Democracy for Realists is a terrific book. It takes on big questions, is brimming with smart analysis and crisp argumentation, and the writing is elegant. There is pleasure and provocation on nearly every page. Achen and Bartels have made a major contribution to modern social science."--Donald R. Kinder, coauthor of The End of Race? Obama, 2008, and Racial Politics in America

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4821 KB
  • Print Length: 413 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (29 August 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0713Q2B6T
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #250,288 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.3 out of 5 stars 48 reviews
A. J. Sutter
5.0 out of 5 starsRigorous statistical debunking of political scientists' folklore
4 June 2016 - Published on
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210 people found this helpful.
Doctor Moss
5.0 out of 5 starsCritiquing the "Folk Theory of Democracy"
4 August 2016 - Published on
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55 people found this helpful.
Anne Mills
3.0 out of 5 starsRead The First Four Chapters, Unless You Are a Social Scientist
5 September 2016 - Published on
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36 people found this helpful.