Why politics matters: making democracy work,
Basingstoke, GB, Palgrave Macmillan, 248pp.
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Achieving mass democracy was the great triumph of the twentieth century. Learning to live with it will be the greatest achievement of the twenty-first century.
A rising tide of discontent is posing a major crisis for systems of mass democracy: the evidence is clear to see in reduced turnout and party membership and in opinion surveys. The failures of politicians have played their part but, Gerry Stoker argues, equally important are the dysfunctional political stances and styles adopted by many citizens. Democratic politics, he argues, is doomed to disappoint because it involves collective decision-making, demands complicated communication and generally produces a messy compromise. One size fits no-one.
So what is the solution? Stoker suggests that democracy - and the political class - must create a new politics, making it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to express and debate their political preferences.
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