From unsubstantiated 2020 election fraud claims and the storming of the US Capitol to the rampage of COVID-19 and racial injustice, this book covers the foundations, institutions, and processes of "the great American experiment" with a clear and resonant theme: Democracy cannot be taken for granted, whether at home or internationally, and eternal vigilance (along with civic intelligence) is required to protect it. Approaching Democracy provides students with a framework to analyze the structure, process, and action of US government, institutions, and social movements. It also invites comparison with other countries. This globalizing perspective gives students an understanding of issues of governance and challenges to democracy here and elsewhere. At a moment of growing domestic terrorism, political hyper-partisanship, populism, identity politics, and governmental dysfunction, there is no better time to bring Approaching Democracy--a textbook based on Vaclav Havel’s powerful metaphor of democracy as an ideal and the American experiment as the closest approach to it--to a new generation of political science undergraduate students.
NEW TO THE NINTH EDITION
Two new authors, Nadia E. Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon, who bring refreshing intellectual and diverse perspectives to the text. Includes the tumultuous political context surrounding the Trump presidency, the 2020 elections, the 116th Congress, the Supreme Court, the COVID-19 crisis, and the fight for social and racial justice. Figures and tables reflect the latest available data and surveys. Two new features--Diversity and Democracy, highlighting the experiences of America’s diverse social groups and the role of identity politics—and Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter, assessing critical thinking skills. Critical contemporary events are explored throughout the book, including the attempted coup following the 2020 elections, the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, protests in American cities that come to the epicenter of America’s approach to democracy, the changes in the Supreme Court and the federal court system, the growth of LGBTQ+ legal rights, and the alteration in American Federalism. New and updated data on public attitudes toward police brutality, DACA, voter suppression, healthcare, and the global climate movement are also covered.