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Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy

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Has American democracy’s long, ambitious run come to an end? Possibly yes. As William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe argue in this trenchant new analysis of modern politics, the United States faces a historic crisis that threatens our system of self-government—and if democracy is to be saved, the causes of the crisis must be understood and defused.

The most visible cause is Donald Trump, who has used his presidency to attack the nation’s institutions and violate its democratic norms. Yet Trump is but a symptom of causes that run much deeper: social forces like globalization, automation, and immigration that for decades have generated economic harms and cultural anxieties that our government has been wholly ineffective at addressing. Millions of Americans have grown angry and disaffected, and populist appeals have found a receptive audience. These are the drivers of Trump’s dangerous presidency. And after he leaves office, they will still be there for other populists to weaponize.

What can be done to safeguard American democracy? The disruptive forces of modernity cannot be stopped. The solution lies, instead, in having a government that can deal with them—which calls for aggressive new policies, but also for institutional reforms that enhance its capacity for effective action.

The path to progress is filled with political obstacles, including an increasingly populist, anti-government Republican Party. It is hard to be optimistic. But if the challenge is to be met, we need reforms of the presidency itself—reforms that harness the promise of presidential power for effective government, but firmly protect against the fear that it may be put to anti-democratic ends. 

Συγγραφείς: Howell William, Moe Terry
Εκδότης: CHICAGO UNIVERSITY PRESS
Σελίδες: 256
ISBN: 9780226763170
Εξώφυλλο: Μαλακό Εξώφυλλο
Αριθμός Έκδοσης: 1
Έτος έκδοσης: 2020

Introduction

1 The Drivers of Populist Politics
2 The Rise and Reign of an American Populist
The Persistence of Ineffective Government
A Presidency for Modern Times

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

William G. Howell is the Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and professor of political science in the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including, most recently, Thinking about the Presidency: The Primacy of Power and While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers.

Terry M. Moe is the William Bennett Munro Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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