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In his controversial new book, Thomas Meyer argues that the media are transforming traditional party democracy into ‘media democracy?. Political elites submit to the mass media?s formulas in the hope of salvaging some influence over their public images. The media thus colonize politics, and the politicans? self–interest turns them into accomplices. Politics and the media have formed a partnership to conduct their main business: adopting well–tested formulas from the theatre to media productions. The public begins to respond to politics as an aesthetic phenomenon, losing sight of the principles that make political action unique and sustain autonomy and democracy. Real power in the media is wielded by an iron triangle committed to the media?s logic of up–to–the–minute reportage: media–savvy political elites, pollsters and media executives. Democratic politics with its slow–paced processes has traditionally relied on parties, intermediary actors and the institutions of...
What will be the legacy of President George Walker Bush? In this fascinating, timely book, Glenn Greenwald examines the Bush presidency and its long-term effect on the nation. What began on shaky, uncertain ground and was bolstered and propelled by tragedy, has ultimately faltered and failed on the back of the dichotomous worldview—good versus evil—that once served it so well. In A Tragic Legacy, Greenwald charts the rise and steep fall of the current administration, dissecting the rhetoric and revealing the faulty ideals upon which George W. Bush built his policies. On September 12, 2001, President Bush addressed the nation and presented a very clear view of what was to come—a view that can be said to define his entire presidency: “This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil.” Based on his own Christian faith and backed by biblical allusions, Bush’s worldview was basic and binary—and everyone was forced to choose a side. Riding high on public support,...
Ideas of democracy and political liberalization have recently become central to political debate within and about the Middle East. The current focus on the merits of democratic practice in many areas of the world, coupled with the spread of economic liberalism, will inevitably, according to some accounts, bring about a measure of political pluralism. Against this, the persistence of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, together with the fragility of experiments with democracy, have revived an old argument: are Islam and democracy essentially irreconcilable? This text aims to bring together many of the best-known writers on Middle Eastern politics. Challenging the assumption that the Middle East is a unique case, they offer new frameworks within which to analyze the process of democratization.
More than individual attributes and attitudes motivate individuals to participate in politics and more goes into interest group influence than financial donations and direct activity. To answer fundamental questions about what determines when and why people participate in politics and how organized interests go about trying to influence legislative decision-making, we must understand how and why political leaders recruit which members of the public into the political arena. Looking from the bottom up with survey data and from the top down with data from interest group interviews, Goldstein develops and tests a theory of how tactical choices in a grass roots campaign are made.
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