What are Campaigns For? The Role of Persuasion in Electoral Law and Politics

Hardcover | July 3, 2009

byJames A. Gardner

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Election campaigns ought to be serious occasions in the life of a democratic polity. For citizens of a democracy, an election is a time to take stock - to reexamine our beliefs; to review our understanding of our own interests; to ponder the place of those interests in the larger social order;and to contemplate, and if necessary to revise, our understanding of how our commitments are best translated into governmental policy - or so we profess to believe. Americans, however, are haunted by the fear that our election campaigns fall far short of the ideal to which we aspire. The typical modern American election campaign seems crass, shallow, and unengaging. The arena of our democratic politics seems to lie in an uncomfortable chasm between ourpolitical ideals and everyday reality. What Are Campaigns For? is a multidisciplinary work of legal scholarship that examines the role of legal institutions in constituting the disjunction between political ideal and reality. The book explores the contemporary American ideal of democratic citizenship in election campaigns by tracing itto its historical sources, documenting its thorough infiltration of legal norms, evaluating its feasibility in light of the findings of empirical social science, and testing it against the requirements of democratic theory.

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Election campaigns ought to be serious occasions in the life of a democratic polity. For citizens of a democracy, an election is a time to take stock - to reexamine our beliefs; to review our understanding of our own interests; to ponder the place of those interests in the larger social order;and to contemplate, and if necessary to rev...

James A. Gardner is Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Joseph W. Belluck and Laura L. Aswad Professor of Civil Justice at the University at Buffalo Law School, State University of New York, where he also directs the Edwin F. Jaeckle Center for State and Local Democracy. After earning a BA from Yale University and a JD from the Univers...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 5.98 × 9.29 × 0.98 inPublished:July 3, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195392612

ISBN - 13:9780195392616

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. The Political Campaign: Emergence of the Deliberative Ideal2. Election Law and the Campaign-Exogeneity of Public Opinion3. Campaigns and the Stability of Political Opinion4. Democratic Theory and the Thin Election Campaign5. The Tabulative CampaignConclusionBibliography