Guide Local Elections and the Politics of Small-Scale Democracy

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Drawing on a wide variety of data sources and case studies, this book offers the first comprehensive analysis of electoral politics in America's municipalities.


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Arguing that current explanations of voting behavior are ill suited for most local contests, Eric Oliver puts forward a new theory that highlights the crucial differences between local, state, and national democracies. Being small in size, limited in power, and largely unbiased in distributing their resources, local governments are "managerial democracies" with a distinct style of electoral politics.

Instead of hinging on the partisanship, ideology, and group appeals that define national and state elections, local elections are based on the custodial performance of civic-oriented leaders and on their personal connections to voters with similarly deep community ties. Explaining not only the dynamics of local elections, Oliver's findings also upend many long-held assumptions about community power and local governance, including the importance of voter turnout and the possibilities for grassroots political change.

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Many people would say the United States is ruled by the president—as the single office selected by all Americans and the head of the executive branch, the presidency commands more power than any other elected position in the land. Because candidates for congress and the presidency are so dependent on the efforts and campaign contributions of such interest groups, they repeatedly bow to their preferences.

This debate is probably familiar to most readers.


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      Strengthening Local Democracy

      Yet political scientists have few explanations for how people vote in local elections, particularly in the smaller cities, towns, and suburbs where most Americans live. Drawing on a wide variety of data sources and case studies, this book offers the first comprehensive analysis of electoral politics in America's municipalities. Read more Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private.

      Taiwan's local elections, Part III: What the election tells us about Taiwanese democracy

      Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item No cover image. Read preview. Synopsis Local government is the hidden leviathan of American politics: it accounts for nearly a tenth of gross domestic product, it collects nearly as much in taxes as the federal government, and its decisions have an enormous impact on Americans' daily lives.

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      Excerpt Many people would say the United States is ruled by the president—as the single office selected by all Americans and the head of the executive branch, the presidency commands more power than any other elected position in the land. It collects more the amount of political writings on this topic are too numerous to document, but some recent notable examples include Bartels , Hacker and Pierson , and Frank Read preview Overview. Middle East Quarterly, Vol. By Newsweek, June 20, Suriname The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

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