How Democratic Is the American Constitution

How Democratic Is the American Constitution
Author: Robert A. Dahl
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780300133721
Available:
Release: 2003-11-10
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this provocative book, one of our most eminent political scientists questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how we might alter our political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.

How Democratic Is the American Constitution

How Democratic Is the American Constitution
Author: Robert A. Dahl
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780300095241
Available:
Release: 2003-11-10
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The author argues that certain aspects of the American Constitution are deeply flawed and detract from a purely democratic society and includes discussions on the electoral college, the Federalist Papers, and proportional representation.

How Democratic Is the American Constitution

How Democratic Is the American Constitution
Author: Robert A. Dahl
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780300092189
Available:
Release: 2002-02-08
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this provocative book, an eminent political scientist poses the question: "Why should we uphold our constitution?"

How Democratic is the Constitution

How Democratic is the Constitution
Author: Robert A. Goldwin,William A. Schambra
Pages: 150
ISBN: UOM:39015001572505
Available:
Release: 1980
Editor: A E I Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

To find more information about Rowman and Littlefield titles, please visit www.rowmanlittlefield.com.

How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die
Author: Steven Levitsky,Daniel Ziblatt
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781524762957
Available:
Release: 2018-01-16
Editor: Crown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITH BOOK PRIZE • SHORTLISTED FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Time • Foreign Affairs • WBUR • Paste Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved. Praise for How Democracies Die “What we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that.”—The Washington Post “Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics.”—Ezra Klein, Vox “If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die. . . .This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history. . . . The best commentary on our politics, no contest.”—Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter) “A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal.”—Fareed Zakaria, CNN

A More Perfect Constitution

A More Perfect Constitution
Author: Larry J. Sabato
Pages: 352
ISBN: 0802777562
Available:
Release: 2010-07-23
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A More Perfect Constitution presents creative and dynamic proposals from one of the most visionary and fertile political minds of our time to reinvigorate our Constitution and American governance at a time when such change is urgently needed, given the growing dysfunction and unfairness of our political system . Combining idealism and pragmatism, and with full respect for the original document, Larry Sabato's thought-provoking ideas range from the length of the president's term in office and the number and terms of Supreme Court justices to the vagaries of the antiquated Electoral College, and a compelling call for universal national service-all laced through with the history behind each proposal and the potential impact on the lives of ordinary people. Aware that such changes won't happen easily, but that the original Framers fully expected the Constitution to be regularly revised, Sabato urges us to engage in the debate and discussion his ideas will surely engender. During a presidential election year, no book is more relevant or significant than this.

Our Undemocratic Constitution

Our Undemocratic Constitution
Author: Sanford Levinson
Pages: 249
ISBN: 9780195365573
Available:
Release: 2008
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Levinson argues that too many of our Constitution's provisions promote either unjust or ineffective government. Under the existing blueprint, we can neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor assure continuity of government following catastrophic attacks. Less important, perhaps, but certainly problematic, is the appointment of Supreme Court judges for life. Adding insult to injury, the United States Constitution is the most difficult to amend or update of any constitution currently existing in the world today. Democratic debate leaves few stones unturned, but we tend to take our basic constitutional structures for granted. Levinson boldly challenges the American people to undertake a long overdue public discussion on how they might best reform this most hallowed document and construct a constitution adequate to our democratic values. "Admirably gutsy and unfashionable." --Michael Kinsley, The New York Times "Bold, bracingly unromantic, and filled with illuminating insights. He accomplishes an unlikely feat, which is to make a really serious argument for a new constitutional convention, one that is founded squarely on democratic ideals." --Cass R. Sunstein, The New Republic "Everyone who cares about how our government works should read this thoughtful book." --Washington Lawyer

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy
Author: Tom Ginsburg,Aziz Z. Huq
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780226564388
Available:
Release: 2018-10-05
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Democracies are in danger. Around the world, a rising wave of populist leaders threatens to erode the core structures of democratic self rule. In the United States, the election of Donald Trump marked a decisive turning point for many. What kind of president calls the news media the "enemy of the American people," or sees a moral equivalence between violent neo-Nazi protesters in paramilitary formation and residents of a college town defending the racial and ethnic diversity of their homes? Yet, whatever our concerns about the current president, we can be assured that the Constitution offers safeguards to protect against lasting damage--or can we? How to Save a Constitutional Democracy mounts an urgent argument that we can no longer afford to be complacent. Drawing on a rich array of other countries' experiences with democratic backsliding, Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq show how constitutional rules can either hinder or hasten the decline of democratic institutions. The checks and balances of the federal government, a robust civil society and media, and individual rights--such as those enshrined in the First Amendment--do not necessarily succeed as bulwarks against democratic decline. Rather, Ginsburg and Huq contend, the sobering reality for the United States is that, to a much greater extent than is commonly realized, the Constitution's design makes democratic erosion more, not less, likely. Its structural rigidity has had the unforeseen consequence of empowering the Supreme Court to fill in some details--often with doctrines that ultimately facilitate rather than inhibit the infringement of rights. Even the bright spots in the Constitution--the First Amendment, for example--may have perverse consequences in the hands of a deft communicator, who can degrade the public sphere by wielding hateful language that would be banned in many other democracies. But we--and the rest of the world--can do better. The authors conclude by laying out practical steps for how laws and constitutional design can play a more positive role in managing the risk of democratic decline.

Judicial Independence and the American Constitution

Judicial Independence and the American Constitution
Author: Martin H. Redish
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781503601840
Available:
Release: 2017-03-21
Editor: Stanford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Framers of the American Constitution took special pains to ensure that the governing principles of the republic were insulated from the reach of simple majorities. Only super-majoritarian amendments could modify these fundamental constitutional dictates. The Framers established a judicial branch shielded from direct majoritarian political accountability to protect and enforce these constitutional limits. Paradoxically, only a counter-majoritarian judicial branch could ensure the continued vitality of our representational form of government. This important lesson of the paradox of American democracy has been challenged and often ignored by office holders and legal scholars. Judicial Independence and the American Constitution provocatively defends the centrality of these special protections of judicial independence. Martin H. Redish explains how the nation's system of counter-majoritarian constitutionalism cannot survive absent the vesting of final powers of constitutional interpretation and enforcement in the one branch of government expressly protected by the Constitution from direct political accountability: the judicial branch. He uncovers how the current framework of American constitutional law has been unwisely allowed to threaten or undermine these core precepts of judicial independence.

Constitutionalism and Democracy

Constitutionalism and Democracy
Author: Richard Bellamy
Pages: 622
ISBN: 9781351571159
Available:
Release: 2017-07-05
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Constitutionalism and democracy have been interpreted as both intimately related and intrinsically opposed. On the one hand constitutions are said to set out the rules of the democratic game, on the other as constraining the power of the demos and their representatives to rule themselves - including by reforming the very processes of democracy itself. Meanwhile, constitutionalists themselves differ on how far any constitution derives its authority from, and should itself be subject to democratic endorsement and interpretation. They also dispute whether constitutions should refer solely to democratic processes, or also define and limit democratic goals. Each of these positions produces a different view of judicial review, the content and advisability of a Bill of Rights and the nature of constitutional politics. These differences are not simply academic positions, but are reflected in the different types of constitutional democracy found in the United States, continental Europe, Britain and many commonwealth countries. The selected essays explore these issues from the perspectives of law, philosophy and political science. A detailed and informative introduction sets them in the context of contemporary debates about constitutionalism.

On Liberty Utilitarianism and Other Essays

On Liberty  Utilitarianism  and Other Essays
Author: John Stuart Mill
Pages: 547
ISBN: 9780199670802
Available:
Release: 2015
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Previous edition: published as On liberty and other essays. 1991.

The U S Constitution

The U S  Constitution
Author: Carla Mooney
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781619304420
Available:
Release: 2016-09-19
Editor: Nomad Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Where did the American democratic tradition begin? From ancient civilizations in Greece and Rome to the Enlightenment in Europe, democratic ideas throughout time have influenced the development of democracy in the United States. In The U.S. Constitution: Discover How Democracy Works, children ages 9 through 12 learn about the foundation of democracy and how the documents crafted hundreds of years ago still have an impact on our country today. They explore the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, among others. These documents provide a framework with which we make the laws and processes that help keep democracy a vital paradigm. Through hands-on projects, which include analyzing how the promises made in the Preamble of the Constitution were put into practice and investigating how to balance the freedom of speech in the digital age, students investigate how American democracy operates. With colorful illustrations, interesting sidebars, and links to online primary sources, this book asks readers to consider the effect of technology on democracy and make predictions about future documents that will be important to the preservation of democracy around the world.

On Political Equality

On Political Equality
Author: Robert A. Dahl
Pages: 160
ISBN: 030013374X
Available:
Release: 2008-10-01
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this book, the eminent psychoanalyst Leonard Shengold looks at why some people are resistant to change, even when it seems to promise a change for the better. Drawing on a lifetime of clinical experience as well as wide readings of world literature, Shengold shows how early childhood relationships with parents can lead to a powerful conviction that change means loss. Dr. Shengold, who is well known for his work on the lasting affects of childhood trauma and child abuse in such seminal books as Soul Murder and Soul Murder Revisited, continues his exploration into the consequences of early psychological injury and loss. In the examples of his patients and in the lives and work of such figures as Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Wordsworth, and Henrik Ibsen, Shengold looks at the different ways in which unconscious impressions connected with early experiences and fantasies about parents are integrated into individual lives. He shows the difficulties he encounters with his patients in raising these memories to the conscious level where they can be known and owned; and he also shows, in his survey of literary figures, how these memories can become part of the creative process. Haunted by Parents offers a deeply humane reflection on the values and limitations of therapy, on memory and the lingering effects of the past, and on the possibility of recognizing the promise of the future.

America s Unwritten Constitution

America s Unwritten Constitution
Author: Akhil Reed Amar,Akhil Amar
Pages: 640
ISBN: 9780465033096
Available:
Release: 2012-09-11
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape the interpretations of this foundational document.

The United States Supreme Court s Assault on the Constitution Democracy and the Rule of Law

The United States Supreme Court s Assault on the Constitution  Democracy  and the Rule of Law
Author: Adam Lamparello,Cynthia Swann
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781315407760
Available:
Release: 2016-12-01
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This book argues that the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, should embrace an interpretive framework that promotes equal participation in the democratic process, fosters accountability, and facilitates robust public discourse among citizens of all backgrounds. The authors propose a solution that strives to restore integrity to the Court’s decision-making process by eschewing ideology and a focus on the utility of outcomes in favor of an intellectually honest jurisprudence that gives all citizens a meaningful voice in governance. The work is divided into seven parts. Parts I–V identify the worst decisions in the Court history and the common themes that helped produce them. The chapters within each part are dedicated to a single Supreme Court decision, in which the authors analyze the Court’s reasoning and explain why it undermined federalism, separation of powers, and democratic governance. Additionally, the authors explain why these decisions compromised the relationship between the Court and coordinate branches, the federal government and the states, and citizens and their elected representatives. Part VI identifies several of the best Supreme Court decisions, and explains why they provide a principled framework that can be applied in other cases and result in a pro-democracy jurisprudence. Finally, in Part VII the authors propose a comprehensive solution that should inform the Justices’ judicial philosophies, regardless of ideology, and strive to promote an equal and participatory democracy. The final chapter offers concluding thoughts and argues that a healthy democracy is the foundation upon which equality rests, and that a collective view of rights is the path by which to restore liberty for all citizens.

Four Threats

Four Threats
Author: Suzanne Mettler,Robert C. Lieberman
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781250244437
Available:
Release: 2020-08-11
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An urgent, historically-grounded take on the four major factors that undermine American democracy, and what we can do to address them. While many Americans despair of the current state of U.S. politics, most assume that our system of government and democracy itself are invulnerable to decay. Yet when we examine the past, we find that the United States has undergone repeated crises of democracy, from the earliest days of the republic to the present. In Four Threats, Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman explore five moments in history when democracy in the U.S. was under siege: the 1790s, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Depression, and Watergate. These episodes risked profound—even fatal—damage to the American democratic experiment. From this history, four distinct characteristics of disruption emerge. Political polarization, racism and nativism, economic inequality, and excessive executive power—alone or in combination—have threatened the survival of the republic, but it has survived—so far. What is unique, and alarming, about the present moment in American politics is that all four conditions exist. This convergence marks the contemporary era as a grave moment for democracy. But history provides a valuable repository from which we can draw lessons about how democracy was eventually strengthened—or weakened—in the past. By revisiting how earlier generations of Americans faced threats to the principles enshrined in the Constitution, we can see the promise and the peril that have led us to today and chart a path toward repairing our civic fabric and renewing democracy.

How Canadians Govern Themselves

How Canadians Govern Themselves
Author: Eugene Alfred Forsey
Pages: 329
ISBN: OCLC:1032867885
Available:
Release: 1993
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Explores Canada's parliamentary system from the decisions made by the Fathers of Confederation, to the daily work of Members of Parliament in the Commons and Senate chambers. Also contains useful information on Canada's constitution, the judicial system and provincial and municipal powers.

The Partisan Republic

The Partisan Republic
Author: Gerald Leonard,Saul Cornell
Pages: 255
ISBN: 9781107024168
Available:
Release: 2019-01-31
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Provides a compelling account of early American constitutionalism in the Founding era.

America s Constitution

America s Constitution
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Pages: 672
ISBN: 9781588364876
Available:
Release: 2012-02-29
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius. Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president. From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more democratic than is conventionally understood. Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens (by the standards of 1787) were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans. We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more slavocratic than many would acknowledge: the “three fifths” clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired. As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election. Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.

It s Time to Fight Dirty

It s Time to Fight Dirty
Author: David Faris
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781612196961
Available:
Release: 2018-04-10
Editor: Melville House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

It's time to do more than protest The American electoral system is clearly falling apart—as evidenced by the 2016 presidential election. In It’s Time to Fight Dirty, David Faris offers accessible, actionable strategies for American institutional reform which don’t require a constitutional amendment, and would have a lasting impact on our future. With equal amounts of playful irreverence and persuasive reasoning, Faris describes how the Constitution’s deep democratic flaws constantly put progressives at a disadvantage, and lays out strategies for “fighting dirty” though obstructionism and procedural warfare: establishing statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico; breaking California into several states; creating a larger House of Representatives; passing a new voting rights act; and expanding the Supreme Court. The Constitution may be the world’s most difficult document to amend, but David Faris argues that many of America’s democratic failures can be fixed within its rigid confines—and, at a time when the stakes have never been higher, he outlines a path for long-term, progressive change in the United States.