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Other titles in the Cambridge Studies in Political Psychology and Public Opinion series:
Stealth Democracy Americans Beliefs Abouby John R Hibbing
Synopses & Reviews
Examining how people want their democratic government to work, this study finds that Americans don't like many of the practices associated with democracy: the conflicts, the debates, the compromises. It finds that Americans don't want to have to see democracy in practice, nor do they want to be involved in politics. If American citizens had their way, political decisions would be made by unselfish decision-makers, lessening the need for monitoring government.
Book News Annotation:
Relying on the results of focus group sessions and a survey, Hibbing and Theis-Morse (both of the Department of Political Science, U. of Nebraska at Lincoln) argue that Americans don't want more involvement in the political system. They argue that Americans are more concerned with political process than in the results of policy and that they would prefer a situation in which decisions are made without their knowledge or input, as long as the process was seen as fair. They use the results of their survey to criticize democratic theorists who advocate for more public participation in government, suggesting that they are "elitists."
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Stealth Democracy examines how people want their democratic government to work. It finds that Americans don"t like many of the practices associated with democracy - the conflict, debates, and compromises. They don"t want to have to see democracy in practice and they do not want to be involved in politics. If they had their way, political decisions would be made by decision makers who were not at all selfish because then the people would be free from having to monitor government and could pursue the multitude of interests they find more enjoyable.
Stealth Democracy finds the type of democracy Americans prefer: the less participation, the better.
Table of Contents
Part I. The Benefits of Studying the Processes People Want: 1. Policy space and American politics; 2. Process space: an introduction; 3. Using process space to explain features of American politics; Part II. The Processes People Want: 4. Attitudes toward specific processes; 5. Public assessments of people and politicians; 6. Americans" desire for stealth democracy; Part III. Should People Be Given the Processes They Want?: 7. Popular deliberation and group involvement in theory; 8. The realities of popular deliberation and group involvement; 9. Improving government and people"s attitudes toward it.
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