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The Paradox of American Democracy

The Paradox of American Democracy by John B Judis, ISBN: 9780679432548
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ISBN: 9780679432548
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Published: February 2000
Format: Hardcover
Links Australian Libraries

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The Paradox of American Democracy

As the United States faces what many see as another lackluster election in November 2000, John B. Judis's The Paradox of American Democracy addresses the decline of public participation in national politics over the course of the 20th century. He persuasively attributes the blame to the deteriorated relationship between unions and grassroots activists and the elite policy foundations that often championed their causes, a relationship eroded by self-interested businessmen and populist demagoguery. American political life, Judis writes, was never strictly a contest between popular and wealthy special-interest groups. Public policy organizations such as the Ford Foundation and the Brookings Institution, for example, have pushed for, or refereed, legislation for social, economic, and political reform that benefited labor, civil rights, and environmental activists. Since the 1970s, though, think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute have pursued their own economic interests by forging links with reactionary populist groups like the Moral Majority, silencing progressive voices less able to present their interests amidst the onslaught of corporate propaganda. Public policy, Judis feels, is now formed primarily by lobbyists rather than those concerned about the broader public welfare. Paradox presents a detailed portrait of how organized political blocs, independent public policy foundations, and the federal government have interacted over the last 100 year

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