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Alexander examines interest group involvement in direct democracy. The tools of direct democracy—initiative, referendum, and recall—were initially created to delimit the power of economic interest groups and curb the power of political machines. Today, however, many believe that direct democracy has become a tool dominated by economic interests and that ballot contests have emboldened moneyed interests, rather than stemming their power. This unanticipated consequence of direct democracy has been coined the Populist Paradox.
Through two case studies, Alexander examines how debilitating the Populist Paradox truly is. The issue of gambling was selected due to the large number of affected interests and the degree of conflict enveloping the issue. Current research suggests that economic interest groups are best able to mobilize monetary resoures, while citizen groups are best able to mobilize personnel resources. The question then turns to whether the differential ability to mobilize resources translates to success or failure for groups with different bases of support. Populist and Progressive reformers obviously did not foresee the advent of campaign consultants, focus groups, direct mail, and paid petitioners. These changes in political campaigning have made the ability to mobilize personnel resources much less important. Alexander provides a valuable extension to current knowledge of group involvement in ballot campaigns that will be of particular interest to scholars, students, and other researchers involved with state and local public policy.
|2||Treatments of Initiatives and Interest Groups||13|
|3||Analytical Framework and Research Strategy||39|
|4||Sovereignty, Money, Out-of-Towners: California's Proposition 5||51|
|5||If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again: Missouri's Amendment 9||83|
|6||You Got to Know When to Hold 'Em and Know When to Fold 'Em: Lessons from California and Missouri||109|
Posted May 10, 2006
I have never read the book...but, I have been a student of Dr. Alexander's at Ohio Northern University. This man has forgotten more information than I will ever know regarding politics and Interest Group Behavior. If you are studying governmental structure or political logic, this book is a must. Dr. Alexander is THE authority on Special Interest and The Electoral College.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2003
I have never read this book, but the only other person to review it gave him five stars. I have however had him in class, and he definitely knows what he's talking about. So read it, and be enlightened...okayWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2002
This book is a serious inquiry into the politics of the organizations that are becoming too large a part of American political and social life: gambling interests. This book is brief and to the point, and is a must read for fans and opponents alike of direct democracy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.