America's Uneven Democracy: Race, Turnout, and by Zoltan L. Hajnal PDF

By Zoltan L. Hajnal

ISBN-10: 0511658354

ISBN-13: 9780511658358

ISBN-10: 0521137500

ISBN-13: 9780521137508

ISBN-10: 0521190347

ISBN-13: 9780521190343

Even though there's a frequent trust that asymmetric voter turnout ends up in biased results in American democracy, latest empirical exams have discovered few results. through supplying a scientific account of the way and the place turnout issues in neighborhood politics, this ebook demanding situations a lot of what we all know approximately turnout in the United States this present day. It demonstrates that low and asymmetric turnout, an element at play in such a lot American towns, ends up in sub-optimal results for racial and ethnic minorities. Low turnout leads to losses in mayoral elections, much less equitable racial and ethnic illustration on urban councils, and skewed spending regulations. the significance of turnout confirms lengthy held suspicions in regards to the under-representation of minorities and increases normative matters approximately neighborhood democracy. thankfully, this e-book bargains an answer. research of neighborhood participation exhibits small switch to neighborhood election timing - a reform that's cost-effective and comparatively effortless to enact- might dramatically extend neighborhood voter turnout.

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Extra resources for America's Uneven Democracy: Race, Turnout, and Representation in City Politics

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5 million – a large number but still a tiny percentage of the national population – 2 percent. Whether their votes are added to the presidential vote tally is almost trivial. A similar story can be told for almost any disadvantaged minority group at the national level. Looking exclusively at national elections diminishes the role that small minority groups can play. A very different story can be told at the local level. Since segregation is often quite pronounced, small groups that are essentially inconsequential at the national level can be significant players in the localities where they live.

African Americans fall somewhere in the middle with a reported voting rate of 8 percentage points below whites. If the vote does matter, whites will be on the winning side of democracy and racial and ethnic minorities on the losing side. To test the robustness of the results, I repeated the analysis with the General Social Survey (GSS), the only other nationally representative survey that has asked about local voter participation. The GSS does not have the same distribution of respondents across as many municipalities as the ACPS but it did ask about local voter turnout and it has questions on the same range of demographic characteristics.

Cities have a council/city manager form of government, and even in cities with mayors, the mayor seldom has unilateral control over the budget (Hajnal and Lewis 2003). Where Turnout Should Matter 29 (Guinier 1992, Lublin 1997, Mansbridge 1999, Pitkin 1967, Swain 1995, Tate 2003, Thernstrom 1987). The election of racial and ethnic minorities to the mayor’s office and to the city council represents the most obvious and perhaps the most important measure of minority success. Obtaining descriptive representation in key offices such as the mayoralty and the city council is important for the minority community for reasons that range from wholly symbolic to concrete.

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America's Uneven Democracy: Race, Turnout, and Representation in City Politics by Zoltan L. Hajnal


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