The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation is Reshaping American Politics

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9780872895386: The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation is Reshaping American Politics

There has been a growing chorus of political analysts with doomsday predictions of an American public that is uncivil, disengaged, and alienated. And it's only getting worse with a younger generation of Americans who do not see the value in voting.

The good news is that the bad news is wrong.

Russell Dalton uses a new set of national public opinion surveys to show how Americans are changing their views on what good citizenship means. It's not about recreating the halcyon politics of a generation ago, but recognition that new patterns of citizenship call for new processes and new institutions that reflect the values of the contemporary American public. Trends in participation, tolerance, and policy priorities reflect a younger generation that is more engaged, more tolerant, and more supportive of social justice. The Good Citizen shows how a younger generation is creating new norms of citizenship that are leading to a renaissance of democratic participation. An important comparative chapter in the book showcases cross-national comparisons that further demonstrate the vitality of American democracy.

This book will reshape how we think about the American public, American youth, and the prospects for contemporary democracy.

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From the Publisher:

"Russell J. Dalton's The Good Citizen shows that all the hand-wringing and pessimism about the collapse of citizenship in America is vastly overstated. Dalton gives a sophisticated and deep picture of what citizenship means, and shows how America's youth are in many ways far more engaged and more functional in their approach to their country than conventional wisdom suggests. This well-written, well-researched, and well- reasoned book is must reading for all the politicians, pundits and political scientists who have written and spoken for many years about the decline in citizen engagement in America." --Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute

About the Author:

Russell Dalton is professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine and former director of the Center for the Study of Democracy. His research and teaching focuses on the changing nature of citizen politics in contemporary democracies. He has received a Fulbright Research Fellowship, a German Marshall Fund Fellowship, Barbra Streisand Center Fellowship and POSCO Research Fellowship. He has recently served on the boards of the American National Election Study, the British Election Study and the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems. Among his recent authored or edited books are Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior (2007), Citizens, Democracy and Markets around the Pacific Rim (2006), Citizen Politics, 4th edition (2006) Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies (2004), Democracy Transformed? The Expansion of Citizen Access in Advanced Industrial Democracies (2003), and Parties without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies (co-editor, 2001).


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