Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public

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9780801878862: Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public
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In Downsizing Democracy, Matthew A. Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg describe how the once powerful idea of a collective citizenry has given way to a concept of personal, autonomous democracy. Today, political change is effected through litigation, lobbying, and term limits, rather than active participation in the political process, resulting in narrow special interest groups dominating state and federal decision-making. At a time when an American's investment in the democratic process has largely been reduced to an annual contribution to a political party or organization, Downsizing Democracy offers a critical reassessment of American democracy.

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From the Publisher:

"Downsizing Democracy offers a sweeping and unsparing portrait of democratic decline in America. Crenson and Ginsberg refute accounts that blame ordinary citizens for our listless democracy. Instead they show how institutional changes have freed elites from mass constituencies and encouraged the substitution of personal action for political mobilization."—Margaret Weir, University of California, Berkeley

"Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg make a powerful, controversial argument with sweeping implications. Their book is an important contribution to the debate over the state of American democracy that will be influential and widely read."—Donald F. Kettl, University of Wisconsin-Madison

About the Author:

Matthew A. Crenson is a professor of political science at the Johns Hopkins University whose books include Building the Invisible Orphanage and Neighborhood Politics. Benjamin Ginsberg is the David Bernstein Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for the Study of American Government at the Johns Hopkins University. His books include Politics by Other Means and American Government: Freedom and Power.

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9780801871504: Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public

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ISBN 10:  0801871506 ISBN 13:  9780801871504
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002
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