Why Politics Matters

Why Politics Matters

by Gerry Stoker
     
 

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In this important new book, Gerry Stoker argues that politics matters to democracy and explains why it is failing. The weakness of democratic politics is not, he shows, a matter of politicians being more corrupt or venal than in the past or citizens having become more blase about democracy. Profound shifts in our societies such as the dominance of individualization… See more details below

Overview

In this important new book, Gerry Stoker argues that politics matters to democracy and explains why it is failing. The weakness of democratic politics is not, he shows, a matter of politicians being more corrupt or venal than in the past or citizens having become more blase about democracy. Profound shifts in our societies such as the dominance of individualization and consumerism, the rise of specialization and professionalization, the increasing complexity and global scale of key issues, the collapse of deference and the role of the media in fostering cynicism have all made the task of governance and political leadership much harder. But more fundamentally, he argues, politics is doomed to disappoint because, like any centralized collective form of decision-making, it requires trade-offs between competing interests, is prone to failures in communication and often produces muddled and messy outcomes.

About the Author:
Gerry Stoker is Professor of Politics, University of Manchester

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An impressive overview of the growing popular disenchantment with democratic politics across the advanced world which offers much thoughtful reflection about its deeper roots. Gerry Stoker's provocative central argument--that the underlying problem is not alienation from democracy, but naïveté about politics itself--warrants the attention of anyone concerned about the future of political life. His conclusion that we need to create a new 'politics for amateurs' is the right challenge for us all."--Robert D. Putnam, Harvard University
"Readable, informative and insightful...dispels many misconceptions about what politics is and should be. His sober optimism, backed up by careful consideration of a wide range of evidence, provides a valuable corrective to the relentless negativity and cynicism towards politics peddled in so much of the media."--Andrew Gamble, University of Sheffield

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403997395
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
08/01/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.68(d)

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