Stealth Democracy: Americans' Beliefs About How Government Should Work

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 29, 2002 - Political Science - 284 pages
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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 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.
 

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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
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