American Rage: How Anger Shapes Our Politics

American Rage: How Anger Shapes Our Politics

by Steven W. Webster

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American Rage argues that anger is the central emotion governing contemporary US politics, with powerful, deleterious effects. Tracing the developments that have given rise to a culture of anger in the mass public, the book sheds new light on both public opinion and voting behavior. Steven W. Webster skillfully uses a combination of novel datasets, new measures of anger, and a series of experiments to show how anger causes citizens to lose trust in the national government and weaken in their commitment to democratic norms and values. Despite these negative consequences, political elites strategically seek to elicit anger among their supporters. Presenting compelling evidence, Webster ultimately concludes that elites engage in this behavior because voter anger leads to voter loyalty. When voters are angry, they are more likely to vote for their party's slate of candidates at multiple levels of the federal electoral system.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108870344
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/27/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Steven W. Webster is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. His research interests include voter behavior, public opinion, and American elections.

Table of Contents

1. The rise of anger in the American public; 2. Political elites and the strategic use of anger; 3. Trait-based anger and governmental distrust; 4. The causal effect of anger on trust in government; 5. Anger and democratic values in the mass public; 6. Anger and voter loyalty; 7. Anger and the future of American government.

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