Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Political Knowledge

Political Knowledge

by Jeffrey Friedman, Shterna Friedman

ISBN-10: 0415620562

ISBN-13: 9780415620567

Pub. Date: 11/14/2012

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Since at least the time of Plato, political scientists and philosophers have been concerned about what citizens and rulers should know if they are to be governed—and govern—well. Moreover, the increasing complexity of modern societies has revivified thinking about and around the critical concept of political knowledge. Vital questions arise, such


Since at least the time of Plato, political scientists and philosophers have been concerned about what citizens and rulers should know if they are to be governed—and govern—well. Moreover, the increasing complexity of modern societies has revivified thinking about and around the critical concept of political knowledge. Vital questions arise, such as:

  • does effective democracy demand an informed electorate?
  • is such an aspiration realistic, given the size and reach of modern governments?
  • how can electorates compensate for their ignorance, given the vast amount of information that might be necessary to make sound political judgements?
  • or is such ignorance ‘rational’?

This new collection from Routledge brings together canonical and cutting-edge research to interrogate these and other issues. Edited by leading scholars, Political Knowledge assembles in four volumes the best and most important scholarship, from the ancients to the work of the deliberative democrats. The collection also gathers the key survey research, from the Columbia and Michigan schools down to the present. Further, it makes sense of the main lines of normative debate about these findings, and addresses the various causal and theoretical understandings of political knowledge and ignorance, while illuminating directions for future research.

With a full index, together with a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editors, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, Political Knowledge is an essential work of reference. The collection will be particularly useful as an essential database allowing scattered and often fugitive material from less accessible books and specialized journals to be easily located. It will also be welcomed as a crucial tool permitting rapid access to less familiar—and sometimes overlooked—texts. For researchers, students, and policymakers, it is a vital one-stop research and pedagogic resource.

Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Critical Concepts in Political Science Series

Table of Contents


Volume I: Normative and Theoretical Perspectives

1. Plato, Republic, in Plato: Complete Works, eds. John M. Cooper and D. S. Hutchinson (Hackett Publishing Company, 1997), pp. 1125–37 (sections 505–21).

2. Aristotle, The Politics, trans. Carnes Lord (University of Chicago Press, 1984), pp. 203–5 (bk. VII, ch. IV).

3. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, The Federalist (Modern Library College Editions, 1964), pp. 441–5, 463–8 (Federalist Papers Nos. 68 and 71).

4. Jeremy Bentham, ‘Parliamentary Reform Catechism’ [1817], in A Bentham Reader, ed. Mary Peter Mack (Pegasus, 1969), pp. 323–6.

5. John Stuart Mill, ‘The Spirit of the Age’ [1831], in Mill: Essays on Politics and Culture, ed. Gertrude Himmelfarb (1973), pp. 8–17.

6. Alexis Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1832], trans. George Lawrence (Anchor Books, 1969), pp. 197–9.

7. Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion [1922] (Simon & Schuster, 1949), chps. 6–10, 12.

8. John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (Ohio University Press, 1927), pp. 204–11.

9. Bernard R. Berelson, ‘Democratic Theory and Public Opinion’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 1952, 16, 3, 313–30.

10. Carole Pateman, Participation and Democratic Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1970), ch. 1.

11. Robert A. Dahl, Democracy and Its Critics (Yale University Press, 1989), pp. 52–79.

12. John R. Zaller, The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion (Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 310–32.

13. Jeffrey Friedman, ‘Public Ignorance and Democratic Theory’, Critical Review, 1998, 12, 4, 397–411.

14. Ilya Somin, ‘Voter Ignorance and the Democratic Ideal’, Critical Review, 1998, 12, 4, 413–58.

15. Jurgen Habermas, ‘Political Communication in Media Society: Does Democracy Still Enjoy an Epistemic Dimension? The Impact of Normative Theory on Empirical Research’, Communication Theory, 2006, 16, 411–26.

16. Arthur Lupia, ‘How Elitism Undermines the Study of Voter Competence’, Critical Review, 2006, 18, 1–3, 217–32.

17. Patrick J. Deneen, ‘A Different Kind of Democratic Competence: Citizenship and Democratic Community’, Critical Review, 2008, 20, 1–2, 57–74.

Volume II: Political Knowledge and its Transmission

Part 1: The General Public’s Political Knowledge

18. Bernard R. Berelson, Paul F. Lazarsfeld, and William N. McPhee, ‘Political Perception’, Voting: A Study of Opinion Formation in a Presidential Campaign (University of Chicago Press, 1954), pp. 215–33.

19. Angus Campbell, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E. Stokes, ‘Public Policy and Political Preference’, The American Voter (University of Chicago Press. 1960), pp. 168–87.

20. Philip E. Converse, ‘The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics’, in Ideology and Discontent, ed. David E. Apter (Free Press of Glencoe, 1964), pp. 206–61.

21. James A. Stimson, ‘A Macro Theory of Information Flow’, in Information and Democratic Processes, eds. John A. Ferejohn and James H. Kuklinski (University of Illinois Press, 1990), pp. 345–68.

22. Benjamin I. Page and Robert Y. Shapiro, The Rational Public: Fifty Years of Trends in Americans’ Policy Preferences (University of Chicago Press, 1992), pp. 10–11.

23. Michael X. Delli Carpini and Scott Keeter, ‘The Conceptualization and Measurement of Political Knowledge’ and ‘Knowledge Over Time’, What Americans Know About Politics and Why It Matters (Yale University Press, 1996), pp. 294–328.

24. Robert C. Luskin, ‘From Denial to Extenuation (and Finally Beyond): Political Sophistication and Citizen Performance’, in Thinking about Political Psychology, ed. James H. Kuklinski (Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 281–305.

Part 2: The Transmission of Knowledge

25. Benjamin I. Page, Robert Y. Shapiro, and Glenn R. Dempsey, ‘What Moves Public Opinion?’, American Political Science Review, 1987, 81, 1, 23–43.

26. Jon A. Krosnick, and Donald R. Kinder, ‘Altering the Foundations of Support for the President Through Priming’, American Political Science Review, 1990, 84, 2, 497–512.

27. Larry M. Bartels, ‘Messages Received: The Political Impact of Media Exposure’, American Political Science Review, 1993, 8, 2, 267–84.

28. Marc J. Hetherington, ‘The Media’s Role in Forming Voters’ National Economic Evaluations in 1992’, American Journal of Political Science, 1996, 40, 2, 372–95.

29. Stephen Ansolabehere, Erik C. Snowberg, and James M. Snyder, Jr., ‘Unrepresentative Information: The Case of Newspaper Reporting on Campaign Finance’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 2005, 69, 2, 213–31.

30. Jonathan McDonald Ladd and Gabriel S. Lenz, ‘Exploiting a Rare Communication Shift to Document the Persuasive Power of the News Media’, American Journal of Political Science, 2009, 53, 2, 394–410.

31. Gabriel S. Lenz, ‘Learning and Opinion Change, Not Priming: Reconsidering the Priming Hypothesis’, American Journal of Political Science, 2009, 53, 4, 821–37.

32. John G. Bullock, ‘Elite Influence on Public Opinion in an Informed Electorate’, American Political Science Review, 2011, 105, 496–515.

Volume III: Political Heuristics and Biases

Part 1: Substitutes for Knowledge

33. Donald Kinder and D. Roderick Kiewiet, ‘Sociotropic Politics: The American Case’, British Journal of Political Science, 1981, 11, 2, 129–61.

34. Morris P. Fiorina, chapter 1, Retrospective Voting in American National Elections (Yale University Press, 1981), pp.

35. Arthur Lupia, ‘Shortcuts versus Encyclopedias: Information and Voting in California Insurance Reform Elections’, American Political Science Review, 1994, 88, 1, 63–76.

36. Samuel Popkin, The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns (University of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 1–6, 22–43.

37. Larry M. Bartels, ‘Uninformed Votes: Information Effects in Presidential Elections’, American Journal of Political Science, 1996, 40, 1, 194–230.

38. Thomas Holbrook and James Garand, ‘Homo Economus? Economics Information and Economic Voting’, Political Research Quarterly, 1996, 49, 2, 351–75.

39. Martin Tyrrell, ‘Nation-States as States of Mind: Nationalism as Psychology’, Critical Review, 1996, 10, 2, 233–50.

40. James H. Kuklinski and Paul J. Quirk, ‘Reconsidering the Rational Public: Cognition, Heuristics, and Mass Opinion’, in Elements of Reason: Cognition, Choice, and the Bounds of Rationality, eds. Arthur Lupia, Matthew D. McCubbins, and Samuel Popkin (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 153–82.

Part 2: Knowing with Bias

41. Charles Lord, Lee Ross, and Mark R. Lepper, ‘Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The Effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1979, 37, 11, 2098–109.

42. Milton Lodge and Ruth Hamill, ‘A Partisan Schema for Political Information Processing’, American Political Science Review, 1986, 80, 2, 505–19.

43. M. Kent Jennings, ‘Ideological Thinking Among Mass Publics and Political Elites’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 1992, 56, 419–41.

44. Milton Lodge, Kathleen M. McGraw, and Patrick Stroh, ‘An Impression-Driven Model of Candidate Evaluation’, American Political Science Review, 1989, 83, 2, 399–419.

45. James Kuklinski, Paul Quirk, David W. Schwieder, and Robert F. Rich, ‘"Just the Facts, Ma’am": Political Facts and Public Opinion’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1998, 560, 143–54.

46. Jeffrey Friedman, ‘Democratic Competence in Normative and Positive Theory: Neglected Implications of "The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics"’, Critical Review, 2006, 18, 1–3, i–xliii.

47. Charles Taber and Milton Lodge, ‘Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs’, American Journal of Political Science, 2006, 50, 3, 755–69.

48. Robert Y. Shapiro and Yaeli Bloch-Elkon, ‘Do the Facts Speak for Themselves? Partisan Disagreement as a Challenge to Democratic Competence’, Critical Review, 2008, 20, 1–2, 115–39.

49. David Schkade, Cass Sunstein, and Reid Hastie, ‘When Deliberation Produces Extremism’, Critical Review, 2010, 22, 2–3, 227–52.

Volume IV: New Research Directions

Part 1: Political Behaviour in a Context of Ignorance

50. Susan Stokes, ‘Constituency Influence and Representation’, Electoral Studies, 1998, 17, 3, 351–67.

51. Samuel DeCanio, ‘Bringing the State Back In … Again’, Critical Review, 2000, 14, 2–3, 139–46.

52. Tim Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo, ‘A Measure of Media Bias’, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2005, 120, 4, 1191–237.

53. Jeffrey Friedman, ‘"A Weapon in the Hands of the People": The Rhetorical Presidency in Historical and Conceptual Perspective’, Critical Review, 2006, 19, 2–3, 197–240.

54. Michael H. Murakami, ‘Paradoxes of Democratic Accountability: Polarized Parties, Hard Decisions, and No Despot to Veto’, Critical Review, 2008, 20, 1–2, 91–113.

55. Kai Jaeger, 'Why did Thailand's Middle Class Turn Against a Democratically Elected Government? The Information-Gap Hypothesis', Democratization, 19, 6, 2012.

Part 2: Technocratic Knowledge

56. Friedrich A. Hayek, ‘The Pretense of Knowledge’ [1974], in Nobel Lectures, Economics 1969–1980, ed. Assar Lindbeck (World Scientific Publishing Co., 1992).

57. David Ciepley, ‘Democracy Despite Voter Ignorance: A Weberian Reply to Somin and to Friedman’, Critical Review, 1999, 13, 1–2, 191–227.

58. Jeffrey Friedman, ‘After Democracy, Bureaucracy? Rejoinder to Ciepley’, Critical Review, 2000, 14, 1, 113–37.

59. Evan M. Selinger, ‘Feyerabend’s Democratic Critique of Expertise’, Critical Review, 2003, 15, 3–4, 359–73.

60. Christopher F. Cardiff and Daniel B. Klein, ‘Faculty Partisan Affiliations in All Disciplines: A Voter-Registration Study’, Critical Review, 2005, 17, 3–4, 237–55.

61. Philip E. Tetlock, Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? (Princeton University Press, 2005), chs. 1 and 8.

62. Robert Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Fall of the Shah and Iraqi WMD (Cornell University Press, 2010), pp. 123–55.

63. Ricardo Caballero, ‘Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of- Knowledge Problem’, Journal of Economic Literature, 2010, 24, 4, 85–102.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews