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Democratizing Inequalities: Dilemmas of the New Public Participation

Published by NYU Press
ISBN 10: 1479847275 / ISBN 13: 9781479847273
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Democratizing Inequalities: Dilemmas of the ...

Publisher: NYU Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


2015. Hardcover. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781479847273

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Synopsis: Opportunities to ?have your say,? ?get involved,? and ?join the conversation? are everywhere in public life. From crowdsourcing and town hall meetings to government experiments with social media, participatory politics increasingly seem like a revolutionary antidote to the decline of civic engagement and the thinning of the contemporary public sphere. Many argue that, with new technologies, flexible organizational cultures, and a supportive policymaking context, we now hold the keys to large-scale democratic revitalization.   Democratizing Inequalities shows that the equation may not be so simple. Modern societies face a variety of structural problems that limit potentials for true democratization, as well as vast inequalities in political action and voice that are not easily resolved by participatory solutions. Popular participation may even reinforce elite power in unexpected ways. Resisting an oversimplified account of participation as empowerment, this collection of essays brings together a diverse range of leading scholars to reveal surprising insights into how dilemmas of the new public participation play out in politics and organizations. Through investigations including fights over the authenticity of business-sponsored public participation, the surge of the Tea Party, the role of corporations in electoral campaigns, and participatory budgeting practices in Brazil,  Democratizing Inequalities seeks to refresh our understanding of public participation and trace the reshaping of authority in today?s political environment.

About the Author: Caroline W. Lee is Associate Professor of Sociology at Lafayette College. Her research explores the intersection of social movements, business, and democracy in American politics. Her book on public engagement experts is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Michael McQuarrie is Associate Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Poiesis Fellow at New York University?s Institute for Public Knowledge. His work has been published in venues such as: Politics and Society, Public Culture, City and Community, Annals,and Research in Political Sociology. He recently edited Remaking Urban Citizenship with Michael Peter Smith.

Edward T. Walker is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research examines how organizations and institutional contexts shape public participation. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Public Opinion Quarterly, Social Problems, and American Sociological Review. His broader study of the role of public affairs consultants in mobilizing the public, Grassroots for Hire: Public Affairs Consultants in American Democracy, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

Craig Calhoun is Director of the London School of Economics and Global Distinguished Professor of Sociology at New York University. His most recent book is The Roots of Radicalism: Tradition, the Public Sphere, and Early Nineteenth-Century Social Movements.

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