Disaffected Democracies: What's Troubling the Trilateral Countries?

Disaffected Democracies: What's Troubling the Trilateral Countries?

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Overview

It is a notable irony that as democracy replaces other forms of governing throughout the world, citizens of the most established and prosperous democracies (the United States and Canada, Western European nations, and Japan) increasingly report dissatisfaction and frustration with their governments. Here, some of the most influential political scientists at work today examine why this is so in a volume unique in both its publication of original data and its conclusion that low public confidence in democratic leaders and institutions is a function of actual performance, changing expectations, and the role of information.


The culmination of research projects directed by Robert Putnam through the Trilateral Commission and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, these papers present new data that allow more direct comparisons across national borders and more detailed pictures of trends within countries than previously possible. They show that citizen disaffection in the Trilateral democracies is not the result of frayed social fabric, economic insecurity, the end of the Cold War, or public cynicism. Rather, the contributors conclude, the trouble lies with governments and politics themselves. The sources of the problem include governments' diminished capacity to act in an interdependent world and a decline in institutional performance, in combination with new public expectations and uses of information that have altered the criteria by which people judge their governments.


Although the authors diverge in approach, ideological affinity, and interpretation, they adhere to a unified framework and confine themselves to the last quarter of the twentieth century. This focus—together with the wealth of original research results and the uniform strength of the individual chapters—sets the volume above other efforts to address the important and increasingly international question of public dissatisfaction with democratic governance. This book will have obvious appeal for a broad audience of political scientists, politicians, policy wonks, and that still sizable group of politically minded citizens on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691049243
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 05/28/2000
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Susan J. Pharr is Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of Japanese Politics at Harvard University. She is the author of Political Women in Japan: The Search for a Place in Political Life and Losing Face: Status Politics in Japan. Robert D. Putnam is Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is author of Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton) and Bowling Alone: Decline and Renewal of the American Community.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures ix

Preface Susan J. Pharr and Robert D. Putnam xv

Foreword Samuel P. Huntington xxiii

CHAPTER ONE Introduction: What's Troubling the Trilateral Democracies? Robert D. Putnam, Susan J. Pharr, and Russell J. Dalton 3

PART I. Declining Performance of Democratic Institutions

CHAPTER TWO The Public Trust Russell Hardin 31

CHAPTER THREE Confidence in Public Institutions: Faith, Culture, or Performance? Kenneth Newton and Pippa Norris 52

CHAPTER FOUR Distrust of Government: Explaining American Exceptionalism Anthony King 74

PART II. Sources of the Problem: Declining Capacity

CHAPTER FIVE Interdependence and Democratic Legitimation Fritz W Scharpf 101

CHAPTER SIX Confidence, Trust, International Relations, and Lessons from Smaller Democracies Peter J. Katzenstein 121

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Economics of Civic Trust Alberto Alesina and Romain Wamiarg 149

PART III. Sources of the Problem: Erosion of Fidelity

CHAPTER EIGHT Officials' Misconduct and Public Distrust: Japan and the Trilateral Democracies Susan J. Pharr 173

CHAPTER NINE Social Capital, Beliefs in Government, and Political Corruption Donatella della Porta 202

PART IV. Sources of the Problem: Cbanges in Information and Criteria of Evaluation

CHAPTER TEN The Impact of Television on Civic Malaise Pippa Norris 231

CHAPTER ELEVEN Value Change and Democracy Russell J. Dalton 252

CHAPTER TWELVE Mad Cows and Social Activists: Contentious Politics in the Trilateral Democracies Sidney Tarrow 270

CHAPTER THIRTEEN Political Mistrust and Party Dealignment in Japan Hideo Otake 291

Afterword Ralf Dahrendorf 311

Appendix: The Major Cross-National Opinion Surveys Russell J. Dalton 315

Bibliograpby 319

Contributors 347

Index 349

What People are Saying About This

Plattner

Susan Pharr and Robert Putnam have done a superb job not only of tracing the decline in public confidence in government performance in the established democracies over the past quarter-century but also of exploring how this disturbing trend can be explained. This book is certain to be widely discussed by scholars and policy makers concerned with the future of democratic government.
Marc F. Plattner, Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies

Dahl

Anyone who wants to understand the state of the art on this matter should, and I hope will, read this book. There is simply no other work like it.
Robert A. Dahl, Yale University

Shirley Williams

Disaffected Democracies provides a thoughtful and wise analysis of the present state of democracy in the Trilateral countries. . . . [It] will be indispensable reading, both for active politicians and others in public life, and for students of international relations and political science.
Shirley Williams, British House of Lords

From the Publisher

"Robert Putnam and his associates have attacked head-on a question that disturbs many of us—the sense that trust long established in democratic governments seems to be eroding right at the time that the ideology of a democratic market system has swept the world. The authors make it evident that the answers aren't uniform among countries or easy. But their work also goes a long way toward putting the evidence, disturbing as it is, in broad perspective, a perspective essential for those who are working toward necessary reforms and new approaches."—Paul A. Volcker, North American Chairman, Trilateral Commission

"Susan Pharr and Robert Putnam have done a superb job not only of tracing the decline in public confidence in government performance in the established democracies over the past quarter-century but also of exploring how this disturbing trend can be explained. This book is certain to be widely discussed by scholars and policy makers concerned with the future of democratic government."—Marc F. Plattner, Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies

"Disaffected Democracies provides a thoughtful and wise analysis of the present state of democracy in the Trilateral countries. . . . [It] will be indispensable reading, both for active politicians and others in public life, and for students of international relations and political science."—Shirley Williams, British House of Lords

"Anyone who wants to understand the state of the art on this matter should, and I hope will, read this book. There is simply no other work like it."—Robert A. Dahl, Yale University

Volcker

Robert Putnam and his associates have attacked head-on a question that disturbs many of us—the sense that trust long established in democratic governments seems to be eroding right at the time that the ideology of a democratic market system has swept the world. The authors make it evident that the answers aren't uniform among countries or easy. But their work also goes a long way toward putting the evidence, disturbing as it is, in broad perspective, a perspective essential for those who are working toward necessary reforms and new approaches.
Paul A. Volcker, North American Chairman, Trilateral Commission

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