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Designing Democratic Government: Making Institutions Work
By James Johnson (editor), Jack Knight (editor), Margaret Levi (editor) and Susan Stokes (editor)
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Russell Sage Foundation
Publication date September 1, 2011
Pages 336
Binding Paperback
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780871544599
ISBN-10 0871544598
Original list price $32.50
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description:

What are the essential elements of a democracy? How can nations ensure a political voice for all citizens, and design a government that will respond to those varied voices? These perennial questions resonate strongly in the midst of ongoing struggles to defend democratic institutions around the world and here at home. In Designing Democratic Government, a group of distinguished political scientists provides a landmark cross-national analysis of the institutions that either facilitate or constrain the healthy development of democracy.

The contributors to Designing Democratic Government use the democratic ideals of fairness, competitiveness, and accountability as benchmarks to assess a wide variety of institutions and practices. John Leighly and Jonathan Nagler find that in the U.S., the ability to mobilize voters across socioeconomic lines largely hinges on the work of non-party groups such as civic associations and unions, which are far less likely than political parties to engage in class-biased outreach efforts. Michael McDonald assesses congressional redistricting methods and finds that court-ordered plans and close adherence to the Voting Rights Act effectively increase the number of competitive electoral districts, while politically-drawn maps reduce the number of competitive districts. John Carey and John Polga-Hecimovich challenge the widespread belief that primary elections produce inferior candidates. Analyzing three decades worth of comprehensive data on Latin American presidential campaigns, they find that primaries impart a stamp of legitimacy on candidates, helping to engage voters and mitigate distrust in the democratic process. And Kanchan Chandra proposes a paradigm shift in the way we think about ethnic inclusion in democracies: nations should design institutions that actively promote—rather than merely accommodate—diversity.

At a moment when democracy seems vulnerable both at home and abroad, Designing Democratic Government sorts through a complex array of practices and institutions to outline what works and what doesn’t in new and established democracies alike. The result is a volume that promises to change the way we look at the ideals of democracy worldwide.



Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780136843092 Book cover for 9780871545183
 
With Margaret Levi (other contributor), James Johnson (other contributor), Jack Knight (other contributor) | from Russell Sage Foundation (September 30, 2008)
9780871545183 | details & prices | 324 pages | 6.00 × 9.00 × 1.00 in. | 1.42 lbs | List price $42.50
About: What are the essential elements of a democracy?
With Margaret Levi (other contributor), James Johnson (other contributor), Robert G. Wesson, Jack Knight (other contributor) | from Prentice Hall (January 1, 1988); titled "Politics: Individual and State"
9780136843092 | details & prices | List price $41.33
This edition also contains Politics: Individual and State
Paperback
Book cover for 9780871544599
 
The price comparison is for this edition
With Margaret Levi (other contributor), James Johnson (other contributor), Jack Knight (other contributor) | from Russell Sage Foundation (September 1, 2011)
9780871544599 | details & prices | 336 pages | List price $32.50
About: What are the essential elements of a democracy?

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