American Democracy: From Tocqueville to Town Halls to Twitter
March 2014, Polity
American Democracy provides a fresh, innovative approach to democracy that will change the way readers understand their roles as citizens and participants. Never will you enter a voting booth or answer a poll again without realizing what a truly social act it is. This will be necessary reading for scholars, students, and the public seeking to understand the challenges and opportunities for democratic citizenship from Toqueville to town halls to Twitter.
1 History and Theory of Democracy 12
2 Voting, Civil Society, and Citizenship 48
3 Deliberation, Representation, and Legislation 81
4 Public Opinion, Policy Responsiveness, and Feedback 114
5 Media, Communications, and Political Knowledge 140
6 Democratic Culture and Practice in Postmodern
''Written with uncommon imagination, this beautifully-realized book challenges too narrow a focus on formal institutions and the electoral process. Written in the spirit of Tocqueville as a sociology of democracy and of Habermas as a probe of the public realm, it deepens our understanding of the foundations of democratic culture, including civic values and the patterns of communication, association, and action that give shape and meaning to democratic citizenship.''
Ira Katznelson, Columbia University
''In this bold reconceptualization of American democracy, Andrew Perrin introduces what he correctly calls a new sociology of publics. Perrin draws our attention to the dynamism inherent in American democracy by showing how democracy is learned and practiced as citizens interact with institutions. An important contribution that will inspire fresh thinking about what sustains democratic practice in the United States and how it might be re-energized.''
Margaret Weir, University of California Berkeley