Democracy and the Marketplace of Ideas: Communication and Government in Sweden and the United States

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 28, 1997 - Political Science - 243 pages
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How do citizens and leaders in democratic nations communicate about their problems and prospects for the future? What can be learned from other nations about how to communicate in more effective and satisfying ways? This book explores the institutional links between society and government that shape political communication. These regulators of national communication include parties and electoral representation systems, interest group processes, campaign finance mechanisms, and the media. The authors show how these core elements of political systems affect the ways in which people communicate, and how effective that communication is at defining public problems and identifying workable solutions.
  

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Contents

DEMOCRACIES IN DISARRAY
3
A Comparative Perspective
6
Global Change and National Politics
13
Democracy Power and Communication
15
Representation vs Satisfaction
22
Overview of the Book
23
THE IDEA OF A MARKETPLACE
27
Ideas and Democracy
28
The Demise of a Governing Idea
89
The Rise of a Governing Idea
91
The Foundations of a Consensual Rhetoric
94
Rhetoric and Policy Success
100
Explaining the Decline of the Folkhem Idea
107
Rhetoric and Government Understanding Public Policy and Elections
115
IDEA MARKETS AND THE POLICY PROCESS TAX REFORM IN SWEDEN AND THE UNITED STATES
117
The US Tax Reform Act of 1986
118

Comparing the Rhetoric of Nations
29
Parties and Electoral Representation
38
Interest Groups
40
The Media
42
How the Marketplace Works
44
A Postscript on Culture and Communication
47
The Great TwentiethCentury Governing Ideas
51
THE RISE AND FALL OF NEW DEAL LIBERALISM IN THE UNITED STATES
53
The Eternal American Struggle with Classical Liberalism
54
The Origins of New Deal Liberalism
55
The Birth of Interest Group Liberalism
64
Conservatism as the American Rhetorical Default Option
69
Ideas Market Choices and the Democratic Party Dilemma
75
Governing Ideas as Images of the Good Society
83
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE FOLKHEM IN SWEDISH POLITICS
86
Conflict Consensus and the Importance of Rhetoric
87
The Swedish Tax Reform Act of 1990
132
Conclusion
140
THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS IN ELECTIONS AND CAMPAIGN RHETORIC
142
The Decline of Electoral Rhetoric
143
Changing Electoral Rhetoric in Sweden
145
Changing Electoral Rhetoric in the United States
159
Conclusion
172
Making Democracy Work
175
REINVENTING COMMUNICATION BY REFORMING INSTITUTIONS
177
Two Paths to Democratic Instability
182
Institutional Reforms and Communication Change
186
Democracies Waiting for Ideas
198
NOTES
204
REFERENCES
220
INDEX
235
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

W. Lance Bennett is Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he is also director of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement (www.engagedcitizen.org). His research and writing addresses how communication processes and technologies can enhance citizen engagement with politics and social life. Bennett has received the Ithiel de Sola Pool Lectureship and the Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award from the American Political Science Association; a Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa, from Uppsala University; the Olof Palme Visiting Professorship in Sweden; and the National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar career award.

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