Why Vote?: Essential Questions About the Future of Elections in America

1st Edition

Daniel M. Shea

February 25, 2019 Forthcoming
Textbook - 290 Pages
ISBN 9781138617926 - CAT# K389862

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For nearly 200 years, Americans have pinned the democratic nature of their system on elections. In many ways, we have become an election-crazed nation, ever-hoping that the next grand contest and the next great candidates will save the day. But tectonic shifts abound -- changes that are profoundly distorting the nature of the process itself. From the rise of fear-centered partisanship, new limits on voter access to the polls, the omnipotence of social media, declining standards of objectivity, Russian interference, the reemergence of the partisan press, growing weight of fat-cat elites and more, elections -- our "grand democratic feasts" -- are shifting before our eyes. We’ve reached a precarious intersection, and it is no stretch to say the future of our republic is at stake.

Written by one of the nation’s leading parties and elections scholars, Why Vote? Essential Questions About the Future of Elections in America explores a range of vital topics. Each chapter is set by a "guiding question," and concludes with a novel, usually surprising argument. No punches are held. Who or what is to blame for the rise of our rabid, hate-centered polarization? Can a minor party really save our system? Should we even try to limit money in elections? Do elections stifle other, more potent forms of engagement? Who’s to blame for new voter access restrictions? Do attitudes toward immigration and race form a "unified theory" of voter coalitions?

This lively, reader-friendly book is sure to inspire robust discussion and debate. The election process in the United State is coming apart at the seams, and Why Vote? tees up a new way of thinking about the future. This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars of US politics and elections.


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