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Democracy's Moment

Reforming the American Political System for the 21st Century

Edited by Ronald Hayduk and Kevin Mattson - Contributions by Steven Hill; Joseph Kahne; Caleb Kleppner; Joel Lefkowitz; Peter Levine; Lincoln Mitchell; Galen Nelson; Jamin Raskin; Robert Richie; Mark Schmitt; Ben Shepard; Claire Snyder; Joel Westheimer and Richard Winger

The two-month long Election Day in Florida made one thing clear: We need to find ways to make the American political system more responsive to the demands of all citizens. This book provides a critical assessement of a broad range of electoral reforms proposed to enhance responsive government. The book aims not only to analyze the obstacles to full political participation, but to capitalize on the window of opportunity that election 2000 has provided to make our political system more truly democratic—to realize 'democracy's moment.' « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 288Size: 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
978-0-7425-1749-3 • Hardback • May 2002 • $98.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7425-1750-9 • Paperback • April 2002 • $39.00 • (£24.95)
Ronald Hayduk is assistant professor of political science at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Kevin Mattson is associate professor of history at Ohio University and faculty associate at the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University.
Part 1 Introduction and Historical Background
Chapter 2 Remembering Florida for the Right Reasons
Chapter 3 History as Hope: The Legacy of the Progressive Era and the Future of Political Reform in America
Part 4 Eliminating Barriers to Political Participation: Tearing Down Walls
Chapter 5 The Weight of History: Election Reform During the Progressive Era and Today
Chapter 6 More Choice Please! Why U. S. Ballot Access Laws are Discriminatory and How Independent Parties and Candidates Challenge Them
Chapter 7 Freeing Politics from the Grip of Money: The Limits of Campaign Finance Reform and the Need for a New Approach
Part 8 Engaging Citizens: Building Citizens
Chapter 9 Democratic Theory and the Case for Public Deliberation
Chapter 10 Educating for Democracy
Chapter 11 Community as a Source for Democratic Politics
Chapter 12 Can the Internet Rescue Democracy? Toward an On-line Commons
Part 13 Making the System More Responsive
Chapter 14 Instant Runoff Voting and Full Representation: Keys to Fulfilling Democracy's Promise
Chapter 15 Putting Democracy Back into the Initiative and Referendum
Chapter 16 The Debate Gerrymander and America's Electoral-Industrial Complex
Chapter 17 The Electoral College: Constitutional Debate, Partisan Manipulation, and Reform Possibilities
Part 18 Challenges and Prospects for Democratic Reform
Chapter 19 What Makes Reform So Difficult: The Case of America's Cities and the Problem of Elites
Chapter 20 Looking Backward While Looking Forward to Democracy's Moment
Chapter 21 Appendix: National and Regional Democracy Organizations
Bringing together a rich and thoughtful collection of essays written by democratic theorists, researchers, and practitioners, Democracy's Moment provides a thoughtful and compelling argument for the need to rediscover our tradition of democratic reform, and a pragmatic blueprint for how to do so. This book should be read by anyone interested in the theory and practice of participatory democracy.
Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Democracy's Moment is a tremendously important contribution to a moment in our nation's history—democracy's moment, hopefully—when we can make major progress toward reforming our democratic processes and practices to make them as vibrant, inclusive, and fully participatory as we possibly can. The book contains a terrific assortment of historical analyses, current trends, and particular policy proposals aimed at making democracy truly work.
Miles S. Rapoport; From The Foreword

This volume is filled with sound theory and practical approaches to solving the problem of nonparticipation in the U.S.'s political life. The presidential election of 2000 may have presented the American political system with the moment it has been waiting for—the moment to undertake serious, meaningful reform. Those who share that interest will find this volume enormously helpful. Recommended.

A valuable overview of the many ways to strengthen democracy . . . the varied approaches in this book, all moving together, are an agenda that can bear fruit over time.
Future Survey

The book is not just a valuable contribution to political science, but a passionate pleading for reforms in the tradition of the progressive movement as most openly demonstrated in the concluding remarks. The volume can be recommended either to the student of U.S. electoral matters or to the reform activist; ideally—one is tempted to assume—the reader may be both.
Political Studies Review

Listening to most academics and pundits, you would not necessarily believe it: but this IS democracy's moment. Ronald Hayduk and Kevin Mattson are to be congratulated for bringing together a wise group of essayists who combine a detailed knowledge of the electoral system with a democratic imagination grounded in the best of American historical traditions. This is the rare book that could produce a genuinely better civic life.
Robert D. Johnston, Yale University

—Responds directly to dilemmas of race, representation, and accountability posed by Election 2000.

—Draws from diverse groups of political activists and reformers as well as noted academics.

—Offers practical reforms including campaign finance, voting technology, ballot changes, instant run-offs, e-democracy, and more.

—Reflects on key election issues including initiatives and referenda, debates, and the Electoral College, among others.

—Detailed Appendix of National Organizations