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American Democracy in Peril
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American Democracy in Peril
Eight Challenges to America's Future

Ninth Edition


February 2020 | 448 pages | CQ Press
American Democracy in Peril encapsulates the tumultuous state of American politics. By introducing the history of democratic theory in terms of four “models” of democracy, Hudson provides readers with a set of criteria against which to evaluate the challenges discussed later. This provocative book offers a structured yet critical examination of the American political system, designed to stimulate students to consider how the facts they learn about American politics relate to democratic ideals. This new edition incorporates the Trump Presidency and the polarization that has accompanied his leadership.

 
Tables and Figures
 
About the Author
 
Preface
 
Introduction: Models of Democracy
Precursors to Modern Democratic Theory

 
Protective Democracy

 
Developmental Democracy

 
Pluralist Democracy

 
Participatory Democracy

 
The Models Compared

 
 
1. The First Challenge: Separation of Powers
The Founders’ Work

 
The Jeffersonian Model

 
The Separation of Powers and Democratic Values

 
The Parliamentary Alternative

 
Meeting the Challenge: Bridging the Separation of Powers

 
 
2. The Second Challenge: The Imperial Judiciary
The Least Democratic Branch

 
A Brief History of Judicial Review

 
Two Cases of Judicial Usurpation

 
Can Judicial Review Be Made Consistent With Democracy?

 
The Judicialization of American Politics as a Challenge to Democracy

 
Meeting the Challenge: Revitalize American Democracy

 
 
3. The Third Challenge: Radical Individualism
Individualism in the American Tradition

 
American “Habits of the Heart”

 
The Flaws of Libertarianism

 
Our Pathological Politics of Rights and Interests

 
Individual Isolation and the Politics of Spectacle

 
Meeting the Challenge: Balancing Rights With Responsibilities

 
 
4. The Fourth Challenge: Citizen Participation
Citizen Participation and Democratic Theory

 
Citizen Political Participation

 
Signs of Civic Disengagement

 
The New Citizen Activism

 
Participation as a Challenge to Democracy

 
Meeting the Challenge: More Participation, Not Less

 
 
5. The Fifth Challenge: Elections Without the People’s Voice
Equal Representation

 
Deliberation

 
Control

 
Meeting the Challenge: Reforming Electoral Institutions, Promoting Democratic Deliberation

 
 
6. The Sixth Challenge: The “Privileged Position” of Business
American Politics as Pluralist Heaven

 
Business: The Privileged Group

 
Why Business Privilege Is a Threat to Democracy

 
Objections to the Privileged-Position-of-Business Thesis

 
Meeting the Challenge: Taking Democratic Action to Reduce Business Privilege

 
 
7. The Seventh Challenge: Economic Inequality
Equality and Democratic Theory

 
The End of the American Dream?

 
Economic Inequality’s Challenge to Democracy

 
Meeting the Challenge: Enacting Policies to Promote Equality

 
 
8. The Eighth Challenge: The National Security State
The Burgeoning of the National Security State

 
Secrecy

 
Centralization

 
Repression

 
Distortion

 
Meeting the Challenge: Reforming to Achieve True Security

 
 
Notes
 
Index

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