Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests, and Private Politics

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NYU Press, Feb 7, 2007 - Social Science - 368 pages
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2007 Society for the Anthropology of North America (SANA) Book Award

Complete List of Authors:Dorothy Holland, Donald M. Nonini, Catherine Lutz, Lesley Bartlett, Marla Frederick-McGlathery, Thaddeus C. Guldbrandsen, and Enrique G. Murillo, Jr.

What is the state of democracy at the turn of the twenty-first century? To answer this question, seven scholars lived for a year in five North Carolina communities. They observed public meetings of all sorts, had informal and formal interviews with people, and listened as people conversed with each other at bus stops and barbershops, soccer games and workplaces. Their collaborative ethnography allows us to understand how diverse members of a community not just the elite think about and experience “politics” in ways that include much more than merely voting.

This book illustrates how the social and economic changes of the last three decades have made some new routes to active democratic participation possible while making others more difficult. Local Democracy Under Siege suggests how we can account for the current limitations of U.S. democracy and how remedies can be created that ensure more meaningful participation by a greater range of people.

Complete List of Authors (pictured)

From Left to Right, bottom row: Enrique Murillo, Jr., Thaddeus Guldbrandsen, Marla Frederick-McGlathery.
Top row: Dorothy Holland, Catherine Lutz, Lesley Bartlett, and Don Nonini.

 

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Contents

LIMITING DEMOCRACY
33
GOVERNING UNDER NEOLIBERALISM
105
STRUGGLING FOR DEMOCRACY
185
Democracy and Political Theory Why Participatory Democracy?
249
Notes
257
Bibliography
271
Index
285
About the Authors
301
Copyright

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Page v - Democratic nations care but little for what has been, but they are haunted by visions of what will be ; in this direction their unbounded imagination grows and dilates beyond all measure.
Page v - Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic genius of our people is its only bulwark, and neither laws nor monuments, neither battleships nor public libraries, nor great newspapers nor booming stocks; neither mechanical invention nor political adroitness, nor churches nor universities nor civil service examinations can save us from degeneration if the inner mystery be lost. That mystery...

About the author (2007)

Thaddeus C. Guldbrandsen is Director of the Center for Rural Partnerships and Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., is Associate Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture in the College of Education, California State University, San Bernardino.

Dorothy Holland is Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Donald M. Nonini is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Catherine Lutz is Professor of Anthropology at Brown University, where she has a joint appointment with the Watson Institute for International Studies. Her books include Homefront: A Military City and the American 20th Century.

Lesley Bartlett is Assistant Professor of Comparative and International Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Marla Frederick-McGlatherly is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and the Study of Religion at Harvard University.

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