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The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California's Recall and Beyond (Hardback)
  • The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California's Recall and Beyond (Hardback)

The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California's Recall and Beyond (Hardback)

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Hardback 260 Pages / Published: 12/08/2007
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This book examines the new, hybrid democracy that has been taking shape in California since the historic recall of Gov. Gray Davis and election of former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003. During the recall and its aftermath, California has reached unprecedented levels of use of direct democracy, in which public policy decisions are made by voters at the ballot box, rather than by elected representatives in the legislature. Driven by Californians' long-standing populism and distrust of government, a new form of governance is emerging: one that seeks to avoid the pitfalls of party politics and influence by special interest groups that plague representative democracy, by increasing the role of voters at the ballot box. This book analyzes the hybrid democracy that has developed under Gov. Schwarzenegger, and how his leadership has encouraged its growth. Using the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Surveys, which include interviews with more than 150,000 Californians, the authors detail the transformation in the state's political climate and the public attitudes behind this change. The authors conclude that this transformation will likely take place in other states, perhaps even nationwide, and offer recommendations for ways to improve policymaking in a hybrid democracy.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742538719
Number of pages: 260
Weight: 535 g
Dimensions: 238 x 160 x 22 mm

No state practices more direct democracy than does California, and nobody analyzes California political forces and public opinion better than Baldassare....Summing Up: Highly Recommended, All levels. * CHOICE, February 2008 *
The best, most comprehensive book to date on the public opinion behind California's recent tumultuous, zigzagging politics. It is also important for its reflections on 'hybrid democracy' in the Golden State. -- Bruce Cain, Heller Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley
Baldassare and Katz's sharp account of the escalating use of the initiative, referendum, and recall is an important book on an absolutely crucial subject. It could fundamentally change the way most of us think about governance in twenty-first century America. -- Peter Schrag, author of California: America's High Stakes Experiment
Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz have written an interesting and successful book that captures the zeitgeist of California politics in the heat of populism....The authors pair a clear and concise writing style with fascinating survey results reported in a compelling and readable format, thus making the book an excellent pedagogical tool. Most importantly, the book illustrates a new form of governance, once that combines direct democracy and representative government to make public policy. -- . * Public Opinion Quarterly, May 2008 *
The book stands as a useful contribution to the history of an interesting period in California politics. * Political Science Quarterly, October 2008 *
In five action-hero years, Californians -led by their celebrity governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger-have fast-forwarded themselves into hybrid democracy. Through a reenergized use of the initiative, referendum, and recall, voters now stand as co-equals with elected officials in the creation of public policy. All Americans should be interested in this timely book. After all, it's their future as well. -- Kevin Starr, University of Southern California

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