In looking at the remarkable proliferation of democracies since 1974, this volume offers important insight into the challenges and opportunities that democracy faces in the twenty-first century. Distinguished contributors detail difficulties that democracies face from within and how they deal with them. Among the contemporary threats to democracy emanating from internal sources are tensions arising over technology and its uses; ethnic, religious, and racial distinctions; and disparate access to resources, education, and employment. A democratically elected government can behave more or less democratically, even when controlling access to information, using legal authority to aid or intimidate, and applying resources to shape the conditions for the next election. With elections recently disputed in the United States, Mexico, Lebanon, and the Ukraine, debates about the future of democracy are inescapably debates about what kind of democracy is desired.
Contributors are W. Lance Bennett, Bruce Bimber, Jon Fraenkel, Brian J. Gaines, Bernard Grofman, Wayne V. McIntosh, Peter F. Nardulli, Mark Q. Sawyer, Stephen Simon, Paul M. Sniderman, and Jack Snyder.
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Table of Contents1. Democracy Challenged: Demography, Technology, and Democratic Possibilities Brian I. Gaines and Peter F. Nardulli 1 Part I: Social Heterogeneity and Democracy: Challenges and Opportunities 2. Problems of Democratic Transition in Divided Societies Jack Snyder 11 3. Citizens, Identities, and Democratic Dialogues: Opportunities and Challenges of Diverse Societies Mark Q. Sawyer 33 4. Democracy, Diversity, and Leadership Paul M. Sniderman 51 5. Electoral Engineering, Social Cleavages, and Democracy Bernard Grofman and Jon Fraenkel 71 Part II: Technology and Democracy: Mass-Elite Linkages in the Twenty-first Century 6. Technological Advances and Individual Liberties: Privacy and the Reach of the State in the Twenty-first Century Wayne V McIntosh and Stephen A. Simon 105 7. Engineering Consent: The Persistence of a Problematic Communication Regime W. Lance Bennett 131 8. The Internet and Political Fragmentation Bruce Bimber 155 Contributors 171 Index 175