Tyranny of the Minority: The Subconstituency Politics Theory of Representation




Author: Benjamin Bishin
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2009
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 216
Isbn10 Code: 1592136583
Isbn13 Code: 9781592136582


Review “In Tyranny of the Minority, Bishin makes a valuable contribution to the literature by asking why minorities sometimes get their way over majority wishes. He makes a compelling case, presenting the conflicting implications of majoritarian representation models. This is a very well-written, clear and interesting book, and Bishin’s work invites vigorous future debate.  If you are interested in democratic theory, the logic of representation, and congress in general, you will want to read this book.”—Robin Kolodny, Temple University "The power of some minority groups to continually fend off majority interests through democratic representation has long been under-theorized. Bishin's fascinating and empirically sophisticated account of subconstituency politics is a welcome remedy, and it is absolutely vital for any understanding of American democracy." —Paul Frymer, Princeton University Book Description Why do politicians frequently heed the preferences of small groups of citizens over those of the general public? Breaking new theoretical ground, Benjamin Bishin explains how the desires of small groups, which he calls “subconstituencies,” often trump the preferences of much larger groups.   Tyranny of the Minority provides a “unified theory of representation,” based in social psychology and supported by extensive analyses of legislators’ voting behavior, that explains how citizens’ knowledge and participation affects candidates’ behavior in campaigns and legislators’ behavior in Congress. Demonstrating the wide applicability of the theory, the book traces politicians’ behavior on a wide range of issues, including the Cuban trade embargo, the extension of hate crimes legislation to protect gays and lesbians, the renewal of the assault weapons ban, abortion politics, and Congress’s battle to recognize the Armenian genocide. It offers a unique explanation of why and how special interests dominate American national politics.

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