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Democracy for Realists

Democracy for Realists PDF Author: Christopher H. Achen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691178240
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 422

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Book Description
Why our belief in government by the people is unrealistic—and what we can do about it Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

Democracy for Realists

Democracy for Realists PDF Author: Christopher H. Achen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691178240
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 422

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Book Description
Why our belief in government by the people is unrealistic—and what we can do about it Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

Realism and Democracy

Realism and Democracy PDF Author: Elliott Abrams
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108415628
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 315

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Book Description
This book makes a realpolitik argument for supporting democracy in the Arab world, drawing on four decades of policy experience.

Politics Recovered

Politics Recovered PDF Author: Matt Sleat
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231547552
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 396

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Book Description
Is political theory political enough? Or does a tendency toward abstraction, idealization, moralism, and utopianism leave contemporary political theory out of touch with real politics as it actually takes place, and hence unable to speak meaningfully to or about our world? In recent years, political theory has seen a revival of interest in realism as an approach to thinking about politics. Realism seeks to avoid such pitfalls by remaining focused on politics itself, giving greater emphasis to the realities and distinctiveness of politics and the ways they ought to shape how we think and act in the political realm. Politics Recovered brings together prominent scholars to develop the idea of what it might mean to theorize politics “realistically.” The volume contributes to philosophical debates such as the relationship between politics and morality and the role that facts and emotions should play in the theorization of political values. It addresses how a realist approach aids our understanding of pressing issues such as global justice, inequality, poverty, political corruption, the value of democracy, governmental secrecy, and demands for transparency. And several chapters open up fruitful dialogues with other varieties of realist approaches, from feminist theory, democratic theory, and international relations.By exploring the nature, distinctiveness, and prospects of realist thought, Politics Recovered shows how political theory can affirm reality in order to provide meaningful and compelling answers to the fundamental questions of political life.

Democracy and Foreign Policy

Democracy and Foreign Policy PDF Author: Miroslav Nincic
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231076685
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 228

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Book Description
Democracy and Foreign Policy: The Fallacy of Political Realism challenges the belief that liberal democracy is incompatible with a wise and effective foreign policy. Miroslav Nincic demonstrates that if any such incompatibility exists, it is rooted in the incentives of professional politicians rather than in the impulses that drive the public and its legislative representatives. When we look at the intersection of U.S. domestic political arrangements and the nation's foreign policy, our gaze is often misdirected by erroneous and often harmful assumptions about the appropriate domestic setting for the conduct of foreign affairs. First, Nincic focuses on the effect of democratic practices and institutions on the efficacy and wisdom of international dealings, especially with rival nations. Nincic next examines the pursuit and consequences on some of the central aspects of our democracy, including the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches, civil liberties, and government openness. A challenge to political realists' contention that democracy impedes the sound conduct of foreign policy, Democracy and Foreign Policy will be of particular interest to scholars and policymakers in international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and diplomatic history.

What Democracy Looks Like

What Democracy Looks Like PDF Author: Amy Schrager Lang
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813537177
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 314

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Book Description
The convergence of activists in Seattle during the World Trade Organization meetings captured the headlines in 1999. These demonstrations marked the first major expression on U.S. soil of worldwide opposition to inequality, privatization, and political and intellectual repression. This turning point in world politics coincided with an ongoing quandary in academia-particularly in the humanities where the so-called "death of theory" has left the field on tenuous footing. In What Democracy Looks Like, the editors and twenty-seven contributors argue that these crises-in the world and the academy-are not unrelated. The essays insist that, in the wake of "Seattle," teachers and scholars of American literature and culture are faced with the challenge of addressing new points of intersection between American studies and literary studies. The narrative, the poem, the essay, and the drama need to be reexamined in ways that are relevant to the urgent social and political issues of our time. Collectively urging scholars and educators to pay fresh attention to the material conditions out of which literature arises, this path-breaking book inaugurates a new critical realism in American literary studies. It provides a crucial link in the growing need to merge theory and practice with the goal of reconnecting the ivory tower elite to the activists on the street.

Realism and Democracy

Realism and Democracy PDF Author: Elliott Abrams
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108248233
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages :

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Book Description
America is turning away from support for democrats in Arab countries in favor of 'pragmatic' deals with tyrants to defeat violent Islamist extremism. For too many policymakers, Arab democracy is seen as a dangerous luxury. In Realism and Democracy, Elliott Abrams marshals four decades of experience as an American official and leading Middle East expert and shows that deals with tyrants will not work. Islamism is an idea that can only be defeated by a better idea: democracy. Through a careful analysis of America's record of democracy promotion in the region and beyond, from the Cold War to the Obama years, Abrams proves that repression helps Islamists beat democrats, while political openings offer moderates and liberals a chance. This book makes a powerful argument for an American foreign policy that combines practical politics and idealism and refuses to abandon those struggling for democracy and human rights in the Arab world.

Nationalism, Political Realism and Democracy in Japan

Nationalism, Political Realism and Democracy in Japan PDF Author: Fumiko Sasaki
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136313788
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 258

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Book Description
Masao Maruyama was the most influential and respected political thinker in post-WWII Japan. He believed that the collective mentality, inherent in the traditional Japanese way of thinking, was a key reason for the defeat in WWII and was convinced that such thought needed to be modernized. In this book Fumiko Sasaki argues that the cause of the prolonged political, economic and social decline in Japan since the early 1990s can be explained by the same characteristics Maruyama identified after 1945. Using Maruyama’s thought Sasaki explores how the Japanese people see their role in their nation, the democracy imposed by the US, and the relationship between power and international relations. Further, Sasaki also considers what the essence of national security is and how much it has been forgotten in current Japanese political thought. The book solves the puzzle of how Maruyama, a teacher of political realism who emphasized the importance of power, could insist on the policy of unarmed neutrality for Japan's national security, and in doing so, illuminates how traditional Japanese thought has impacted development in Japan. Despite his status within Japan, there are few English language books available on Maruyama and his thought on national security. This book therefore will be an essential resource for students and scholars of Japanese Politics and Political Thought.

The Realist Case for Global Reform

The Realist Case for Global Reform PDF Author: William E. Scheuerman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745637795
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 232

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Book Description
Does a hard-headed Realist approach to international politics necessarily involve skepticism towards progressive foreign policy initiatives and global reform? Should proponents of Realism always be seen as morally complacent and politically combative? In this major reconsideration of the main figures of international political theory, Bill Scheuerman challenges conventional wisdom to reveal a neglected tradition of Progressive Realism with much to contribute to contemporary debates about international policy-making and world government. Far from seeing international reform as well-meaning but potentially irresponsible , Progressive Realists like E. H. Carr, John Herz, Hans J. Morgenthau, and Reinhold Niebuhr developed forward-looking ideas which offer an indispensable corrective to many presently influential views about global politics. Progressive Realism, Scheuerman argues, offers a compelling and provocative vision of radical global change which -- when properly interpreted, can help buttress current efforts to address the most pressing international issues. After recovering key subterranean strands in mid-twentieth century Realism, Scheuerman underscores their relevance to contemporary international theory. Criticizing more recent Realists for abandoning their tradition's best insights, he also demonstrates that reform-minded international theories --including versions of Cosmopolitanism, Constructivism, the English School, Liberalism, and Republicanism - could all benefit from taking Progressive Realism seriously. A major contribution both to the history of international relations and contemporary debates in international theory, The Realist Case for Global Reform concludes by considering how Progressive Realism informs the foreign policies of US President Barack Obama.

Democracy and Complexity

Democracy and Complexity PDF Author: Danilo Zolo
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 074566931X
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 214

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Book Description
This book is a highly original and provocative contribution to democratic theory. Zolo argues that the increasing complexity of modern societies represents a fundamental challenge to the basic assumptions of the Western democratic tradition and calls for a reformulation of some of the key questions of political theory. Zolo maintains that, as modern societies become more complex and more involved in the `information revolution', they are subjected to new and unprecedented forms of evolutionary stress - as manifested, for instance, in the growing autonomy and power of political parties, and in new kinds of political communication which create and sustain the fiction of consensus. These forms of stress have become so serious that they threaten to undermine some of the values traditionally associated with democracy, such as the rationality and autonomy of the individual, and the visibility and accountability of power.

Reinhold Niebuhr in Theory and Practice

Reinhold Niebuhr in Theory and Practice PDF Author: Peter B. Josephson
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498576697
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 244

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Book Description
This book examines contemporary American politics and policy from a political-theological perspective. The work analyzes the value of Niebuhr's political thought for American statecraft and suggests that Niebuhr's Christian realism can ground citizens' understanding of political life.