Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2003 - Political Science - 366 pages
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Pundits and social observers have voiced alarm each year as fewer Americans involve themselves in voluntary groups that meet regularly. Thousands of nonprofit groups have been launched in recent times, but most are run by professionals who lobby Congress or deliver social services to clients. What will happen to U.S. democracy if participatory groups and social movements wither, while civic involvement becomes one more occupation rather than every citizen’s right and duty? In Diminished Democracy, Theda Skocpol shows that this decline in public involvement has not always been the case in this country—and how, by understanding the causes of this change, we might reverse it.

 

 

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Contents

Warren Durgins GravestoneUnderstanding American Civic Democracy
3
How the United States Became a Civic Nation
20
Joiners Organizers and Citizens
74
From Membership to Management
127
Why Civic Life Changed
175
What We Have Lost
221
Reinventing American Civic Democracy
254
Notes
295
List of Tables and Figures
351
Index
355
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Politics of Fear
Frank Furedi
No preview available - 2007
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About the author (2003)

Theda Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology and Director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University

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