In recent decades, democracies across the world have adopted measures to increase popular involvement in political decisions. Parties have turned to primaries and local caucuses to select candidates; ballot initiatives and referenda allow citizens to enact laws directly; many places now use proportional representation, encouraging smaller, more specific parties rather than two dominant ones.Yet voters keep getting angrier.There is a steady erosion of trust in politicians, parties, and democratic institutions, culminating most recently in major populist victories in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.
“A trenchant and fiercely argued diagnosis of the growing pathology of representative democracy.” — John Dunn, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge
“Democracies that serve majorities over the long run require strong, cohesive legislative parties. Full stop. In their brilliant analysis of party systems across post-industrial democracies—steeped in the latest scholarship, animated by dramatic stories, and made urgent by the dangerous flowering of extremist parties and demagogues—Rosenbluth and Shapiro serve as expert, impassioned guides to why we must have strong parties and why, in efforts to be more representative, parties everywhere are failing democracy.” — Nancy Rosenblum, Senator Joseph Clark Research Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government, Harvard University
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