Stealth Democracy: Americans' Beliefs About How Government Should Work

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Aug 29, 2002 - Political Science - 284 pages
1 Review
Americans often complain about the operation of their government, but scholars have never developed a complete picture of people's preferred type of government. In this provocative and timely book, Hibbing and Theiss-Morse, employing an original national survey and focus groups, report the governmental procedures which Americans desire. Contrary to the prevailing view that people want greater involvement in politics, most citizens do not care about most policies and therefore are content to turn over decision-making authority to someone else. People's wish for the political system is that decision makers be empathetic and, especially, non-self-interested, not that they be responsive and accountable to the people's largely nonexistent policy preferences or, even worse, that the people be obligated to participate directly in decision making. Hibbing and Theiss-Morse conclude by cautioning communitarians, direct democrats, social capitalists, deliberation theorists, and all those who think that greater citizen involvement is the solution to society's problems.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Read for class. Very interesting.

Contents

Introduction l
1
THE BENEFITS OF STUDYING THE PROCESSES
13
American Politics
61
THE PROCESSES PEOPLE WANT
85
Public Assessments of People and Politicians
107
AmericansDesire for Stealth Democracy
129
SHOULD PEOPLE BE GIVEN THE PROCESSES
161
Improving Government and Peoples Attitudes
209
Epilogue
229
Appendix A
246
Index
275
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

Hibbing is Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska.

Elizabeth Theiss-Morse is Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she has taught since 1988. She is the co-author of two award-winning Cambridge University Press books: Congress as Public Enemy: Public Attitudes toward American Political Institutions (co-authored with John R. Hibbing), winner of the APSA's Fenno Prize in 1996 for the best book on Congress; and With Malice Toward Some: How People Make Civil Liberties Judgments (co-authored with George E. Marcus, John L. Sullivan and Sandra L. Wood), winner of the APSA's Best Book in Political Psychology Prize in 1996. A second book written with John Hibbing, Stealth Democracy: Americans' Beliefs about How Government Should Work (Cambridge, 2002), was named an 'Outstanding Academic Title' by Choice magazine in 2003. She also co-edited with John Hibbing What Is It About Government that Americans Dislike? (Cambridge, 2001). She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, Political Psychology, and Political Behavior, among others, and has received five National Science Foundation Grants.