A democracy falters when most of its citizens are uninformed or misinformed, when misinformation affects political decisions and actions, or when political actors foment misinformation—the state of affairs the United States faces today, as this timely book makes painfully clear. In Do Facts Matter? Jennifer L. Hochschild and Katherine Levine Einstein start with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal citizen, who knows and uses correct information to make policy or political choices. What, then, the authors ask, are the consequences if citizens are informed but do not act on their knowledge? Read more about Do Facts Matter? Information and Misinformation in American Politics
SHOULD THE MASS PUBLIC FOLLOW ELITE OPINION? IT DEPENDS . . .
ABSTRACT: John Zaller’s finding that members of the public usually follow elites’ cues may seem normatively disturbing. If true, it might be taken to obviate the need for democracy or to show that elites are manipulating the public. However, as long as the public sometimes fails to follow elites, we can judge cases of public followership according to independent criteria, such as whether the public’s occasional rebellions against elite opinion further liberal-democratic or utilitarian Read more about Critical Review Article Now Available as Free E-Print
The American racial order--the beliefs, institutions, and practices that organize relationships among the nation's races and ethnicities--is undergoing its greatest transformation since the 1960s. Creating a New Racial Order takes a groundbreaking look at the reasons behind this dramatic change, and considers how different groups of Americans are being affected. Through revealing narrative and striking research, the authors show that the personal and political choices of Americans will be critical to how, and how much, racial Read more about Creating a New Racial Order