Suburbanization is often blamed for a loss of civic engagement in contemporary America. How justified is this claim? Just what is a suburb? How do social environments shape civic life? Looking beyond popular stereotypes, Democracy in Suburbia answers these questions by examining how suburbs influence citizen participation in community and public affairs. Eric Oliver offers a rich, engaging account of what suburbia means for American democracy and, in doing so, speaks to the heart of widespread debate on the health of our civil society.
Applying an innovative, unusually rigorous mode of statistical analysis to a wealth of unique survey and census data, Oliver argues that suburbs, by institutionalizing class and racial differences with municipal boundaries, transform social conflicts between citizens into ones between political institutions. In reducing the incentives for individual political participation, suburbanization has negated the benefits of ''small town'' government and deprived metropolitan areas of valuable civic capacity. This ultimately increases prospects of serious social conflict.
Oliver concludes that we must reconfigure suburban governments to allow seemingly intractable issues of common metropolitan concern to surface in local politics rather than be ignored as cross-jurisdictional. And he believes this is possible without sacrifice of local government's advantages. Scholars and students of political science, sociology, and urban affairs will prize this book for its striking findings, its revealing scrutiny of the commonplace, and its insights into how the pursuit of the American dream may be imperiling American democracy.
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"Americans' move to the suburbs has many political implications, but that is a subject on which there has been much pontificating but surprisingly little evidence--until now. And along with explicating what has happened and why, Eric Oliver never lets the reader forget why all of this matters, how his results link up with urgent issues of the day and deep concerns of social scientists. Suburbanization is good for participation but bad for democratic decision-making; no other book presents us with quite this conundrum in such a powerful fashion."--Jennifer L. Hochschild, Harvard University
"Democracy in Suburbia is an important contribution to the literature on participation and metropolitan areas, and to modern democratic theory more broadly. Oliver forcefully shows how the spatial, racial, and class divisions written into metropolitan geography weaken democratic vitality."--Margaret Weir, University of California at Berkeley
"The conrtributions of this book are many. Oliver provides sweeping coverage of the various arguments, claims, and anecdotes associated with suburbanization in the United States; offers a systematic empirical analysis of how various dimensions of suburbanization are associated with different levels of participation, and why; and he proposes how the negative consequences of suburbanization might be ameliorated. Particularly notable is Oliver's engaging style: it is direct, intelligent, and masterfully interweaves anecdotal claims and evidence with more systematic statistical evidence."--Jan Leighley, Texas A&M University
J. Eric Oliver is Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2001. Estado de conservación: New. BRAND NEW. Nº de ref. de la librería GRP69134531
Descripción Princeton University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0691088799
Descripción Estado de conservación: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 97806910887921.0
Descripción Princeton University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0691088799