For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy

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September 2004



Direct democracy is alive and well in the United States. Citizens are increasingly using initiatives and referendums to take the law into their own hands, overriding their elected officials to set tax, expenditure, and social policies. John G. Matsusaka's "For the Many or the Few" provides the first even-handed and historically based treatment of the subject.
Drawing upon a century of evidence, Matsusaka argues against the popular belief that initiative measures are influenced by wealthy special interest groups that neglect the majority view. Examining demographic, political, and opinion data, he demonstrates how the initiative process brings about systematic changes in tax and expenditure policies of state and local governments that are generally supported by the citizens. He concludes that, by and large, direct democracy in the form of the initiative process works for the benefit of the many rather than the few.
An unprecedented, comprehensive look at the historical, empirical, and theoretical components of how initiatives function within our representative democracy to increase political competition while avoiding the tyranny of the majority, "For the Many or the Few" is a most timely and definitive work.


John G. Matsusaka is a professor in the Marshall School of Business, Gould School of Law, and in the Department of Political Science at the University of Southern California. He is also president of the Initiative Referendum Institute.


"For the Many or the Few is a valuable contribution to our understanding of American democratic institutions and public policy and an important book." - Journal of Politics "John G. Matsusaka's valuable, accessible book represents one of the few studies that attempt to test how policy outcomes are affected by the initiative process and to examine whether policies produced by the initiative reflect what the public actually wants." - Political Science Quarterly"
EAN: 9780226510811
ISBN: 0226510816
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: September 2004
Seitenanzahl: 206 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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