Civic Engagement in American Democracy

Overview

Civic Engagement in American Democracy opens with an eagle's-eye view of the roots of America's special patterns of civic involvement, examining the way social groups and government and electoral politics have influenced each other over the last 200 years. Other chapters explore community politics, the electoral process, religious institutions, and the advantages and disadvantages of contemporary advocacy politics. The book also probes the influence of long-term social and cultural changes on voluntary ...
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Overview

Civic Engagement in American Democracy opens with an eagle's-eye view of the roots of America's special patterns of civic involvement, examining the way social groups and government and electoral politics have influenced each other over the last 200 years. Other chapters explore community politics, the electoral process, religious institutions, and the advantages and disadvantages of contemporary advocacy politics. The book also probes the influence of long-term social and cultural changes on voluntary associations and civic participation.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Inspired by three major theoretical perspectives, particularly institutionalist and rational-choice perspectives, contributors broaden the theoretical horizons of ongoing discussion on social capital, American society, and democracy. They use an array of empirical approaches and kinds of evidence to address the roots of civic engagement, long-term changes in American society and culture, and new forms of civic activism in the late 20th century. The editors are associated with Harvard University and Stanford University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"This book belongs on the short list of works produced in the last decade or so about civic life in the United States from which one can actually learn something. The numerous strong articles repay careful attention for anyone interested both in current debates and in figuring out what the next round of debates should address." —David Plotke, New School University, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 106, no. 4

"The consistently high quality of the contributions to this volume make it absolutely essential for students of civic participation, and highly recommended for all who are concerned with the health of American democracy.
" —H.L. Reiter, University of Connecticut

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815728092
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Pages: 540
  • Sales rank: 1,205,172
  • Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Theda Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University and author of Boomerang: Health Reform and the Turn Against Politics (Norton, 1996), and Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States (Harvard, 1992) which won five scholarly awards. Morris P. Fiorina is professor of political science and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and author of Congress —Keystone of the Washington Establishment (Yale, 1977, 1989), Retrospective Voting in American National Elections (Yale, 1981), and Divided Government (Macmillan, 1992, Allyn & Bacon, 1995).

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Making Sense of the Civic Engagement Debate 1
Pt. 1 Between State and Society: Roots of American Civic Engagement
2 How Americans Became Civic 27
3 Organizational Repertoires and Institutional Change: Women's Groups and the Transformation of American Politics, 1890-1920 81
4 National Elections as Institutions for Generating Social Capital 111
Pt. 2 Civic Life in a Changing Society
5 Professions and Civic Engagement: Trends in Rhetoric and Practice, 1875-1995 163
6 Vital Signs: Organizational Population Trends and Civic Engagement in New Haven, Connecticut, 1850-1998 211
7 Social Change and Civic Engagement: The Case of the PTA 249
8 Technological Change and Associational Life 297
9 Mobilizing Civic Engagement: The Changing Impact of Religious Involvement 331
Pt. 3 The Ironies of Contemporary Activism
10 The Rise of Citizen Groups 367
11 Extreme Voices: A Dark Side of Civic Engagement 395
12 Civic Participation and the Equality Problem 427
13 Advocates without Members: The Recent Transformation of American Civic Life 461
Contributors 511
Index 515
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