Top 40 Democracy

The Rival Mainstreams of American Music

Author: Eric Weisbard

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226896188

Category: History

Page: 329

View: 4773

A capacious and stimulating tour de force of the mainstream music industry that reveals the cultural import of even the most deliberately banal performers and songs. Weisbard finds depths in our culture s shallows as he investigates and articulates the cultural construction of such phenomena as Dolly Parton, Elton John, the Isley Brothers, A&M Records, and the rise of radio populism. He further sheds new light on the upheavals in the music industry over the last fifteen years and the implications of them for the audiences the industry has shaped. Each chapter brings us to see afresh precisely that music and those musicians that have become the most familiar and overexposed, by delving into the minutiae of how pop stars and their music were made and framed for repeated consumption in the era dominated by radio."
Posted in History

Top 40 Democracy

The Rival Mainstreams of American Music

Author: Eric Weisbard

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022619437X

Category: Music

Page: 312

View: 3419

If you drive into any American city with the car stereo blasting, you’ll undoubtedly find radio stations representing R&B/hip-hop, country, Top 40, adult contemporary, rock, and Latin, each playing hit after hit within that musical format. American music has created an array of rival mainstreams, complete with charts in multiple categories. Love it or hate it, the world that radio made has steered popular music and provided the soundtrack of American life for more than half a century. In Top 40 Democracy, Eric Weisbard studies the evolution of this multicentered pop landscape, along the way telling the stories of the Isley Brothers, Dolly Parton, A&M Records, and Elton John, among others. He sheds new light on the upheavals in the music industry over the past fifteen years and their implications for the audiences the industry has shaped. Weisbard focuses in particular on formats—constructed mainstreams designed to appeal to distinct populations—showing how taste became intertwined with class, race, gender, and region. While many historians and music critics have criticized the segmentation of pop radio, Weisbard finds that the creation of multiple formats allowed different subgroups to attain a kind of separate majority status—for example, even in its most mainstream form, the R&B of the Isley Brothers helped to create a sphere where black identity was nourished. Music formats became the one reliable place where different groups of Americans could listen to modern life unfold from their distinct perspectives. The centers of pop, it turns out, were as complicated, diverse, and surprising as the cultural margins. Weisbard’s stimulating book is a tour de force, shaking up our ideas about the mainstream music industry in order to tease out the cultural importance of all performers and songs.
Posted in Music

Top 40 Democracy

Pop Music Formats in the Rock Era

Author: Eric Michael Weisbard

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Popular music

Page: 724

View: 8311

Posted in Popular music

Why Music Matters

Author: David Hesmondhalgh

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118535812

Category: Music

Page: 208

View: 3107

Listen to David Hesmondhalgh discuss the arguments at the core of 'Why Music Matters' with Laurie Taylor on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed here. In what ways might music enrich the lives of people and of societies? What prevents it from doing so? Why Music Matters explores the role of music in our lives, and investigates the social and political significance of music in modern societies. First book of its kind to explore music through a variety of theories and approaches and unite these theories using one authoritative voice Combines a broad yet theoretically sophisticated approach to music and society with real clarity and accessibility A historically and sociologically informed understanding of music in relation to questions of social power and inequality By drawing on both popular and academic talk about a range of musical forms and practices, readers will engage with a wide musical terrain and a wealth of case studies
Posted in Music

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Author: Greg Palast

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110121323X

Category: Political Science

Page: 408

View: 9101

"Palast is astonishing, he gets the real evidence no one else has the guts to dig up." Vincent Bugliosi, author of None Dare Call it Treason and Helter Skelter Award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast digs deep to unearth the ugly facts that few reporters working anywhere in the world today have the courage or ability to cover. From East Timor to Waco, he has exposed some of the most egregious cases of political corruption, corporate fraud, and financial manipulation in the US and abroad. His uncanny investigative skills as well as his no-holds-barred style have made him an anathema among magnates on four continents and a living legend among his colleagues and his devoted readership. This exciting collection, now revised and updated, brings together some of Palast's most powerful writing of the past decade. Included here are his celebrated Washington Post exposé on Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris's stealing of the presidential election in Florida, and recent stories on George W. Bush's payoffs to corporate cronies, the payola behind Hillary Clinton, and the faux energy crisis. Also included in this volume are new and previously unpublished material, television transcripts, photographs, and letters.
Posted in Political Science

The Life and Death of Democracy

Author: John Keane

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1847377602

Category: History

Page: 992

View: 6003

John Keane's The Life and Death of Democracy will inspire and shock its readers. Presenting the first grand history of democracy for well over a century, it poses along the way some tough and timely questions: can we really be sure that democracy had its origins in ancient Greece? How did democratic ideals and institutions come to have the shape they do today? Given all the recent fanfare about democracy promotion, why are many people now gripped by the feeling that a bad moon is rising over all the world's democracies? Do they indeed have a future? Or is perhaps democracy fated to melt away, along with our polar ice caps? The work of one of Britain's leading political writers, this is no mere antiquarian history. Stylishly written, this superb book confronts its readers with an entirely fresh and irreverent look at the past, present and future of democracy. It unearths the beginnings of such precious institutions and ideals as government by public assembly, votes for women, the secret ballot, trial by jury and press freedom. It tracks the changing, hotly disputed meanings of democracy and describes quite a few of the extraordinary characters, many of them long forgotten, who dedicated their lives to building or defending democracy. And it explains why democracy is still potentially the best form of government on earth -- and why democracies everywhere are sleepwalking their way into deep trouble.
Posted in History

Deterring Democracy

Author: Noam Chomsky

Publisher: Hill and Wang

ISBN: 1466801530

Category: Political Science

Page: 424

View: 9307

From World War II until the 1980s, the United States reigned supreme as both the economic and the military leader of the world. The major shifts in global politics that came about with the dismantling of the Eastern bloc have left the United States unchallenged as the preeminent military power, but American economic might has declined drastically in the face of competition, first from Germany and Japan ad more recently from newly prosperous countries elsewhere. In Deterring Democracy, the impassioned dissident intellectual Noam Chomsky points to the potentially catastrophic consequences of this new imbalance. Chomsky reveals a world in which the United States exploits its advantage ruthlessly to enforce its national interests--and in the process destroys weaker nations. The new world order (in which the New World give the orders) has arrived.
Posted in Political Science

The Myth of Digital Democracy

Author: Matthew Hindman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691138680

Category: Computers

Page: 181

View: 6210

Is the Internet democratizing American politics? Do political Web sites and blogs mobilize inactive citizens and make the public sphere more inclusive? The Myth of Digital Democracy reveals that, contrary to popular belief, the Internet has done little to broaden political discourse but in fact empowers a small set of elites--some new, but most familiar. Matthew Hindman argues that, though hundreds of thousands of Americans blog about politics, blogs receive only a miniscule portion of Web traffic, and most blog readership goes to a handful of mainstream, highly educated professionals. He shows how, despite the wealth of independent Web sites, online news audiences are concentrated on the top twenty outlets, and online organizing and fund-raising are dominated by a few powerful interest groups. Hindman tracks nearly three million Web pages, analyzing how their links are structured, how citizens search for political content, and how leading search engines like Google and Yahoo! funnel traffic to popular outlets. He finds that while the Internet has increased some forms of political participation and transformed the way interest groups and candidates organize, mobilize, and raise funds, elites still strongly shape how political material on the Web is presented and accessed. The Myth of Digital Democracy. debunks popular notions about political discourse in the digital age, revealing how the Internet has neither diminished the audience share of corporate media nor given greater voice to ordinary citizens.
Posted in Computers

Democracy in Chains

The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

Author: Nancy MacLean

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101980966

Category: History

Page: 334

View: 6360

"Focusing on Nobel Prize-winning economist James McGill Buchanan (1919-2013), whom Charles Koch funded and championed, MacLean elaborates on [what he sees as] the Koch brothers' insidious, dangerous manipulation of American politics. Based on Buchanan's papers as well as published sources, MacLean creates a ... portrait of an arrogant, uncompromising, and unforgiving man, stolid in his mission to 'save capitalism from democracy'"--
Posted in History

How Democracies Die

Author: Steven Levitsky,Daniel Ziblatt

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 1524762938

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 2909

Fateful alliances -- Gatekeeping in America -- The great Republican abdication -- Subverting democracy -- The guardrails of democracy -- The unwritten rules of American politics -- The unraveling -- Trump against the guardrails -- Saving democracy
Posted in History

Against Democracy

New Preface

Author: Jason Brennan

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888395

Category: Philosophy

Page: 312

View: 4168

Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us—it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse—more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government—epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable—may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.
Posted in Philosophy

How Democracy Ends

Author: David Runciman

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 1541616790

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 859

How will democracy end? And what will replace it? A preeminent political scientist examines the past, present, and future of an endangered political philosophy Since the end of World War II, democracy's sweep across the globe seemed inexorable. Yet today, it seems radically imperiled, even in some of the world's most stable democracies. How bad could things get? In How Democracy Ends, David Runciman argues that we are trapped in outdated twentieth-century ideas of democratic failure. By fixating on coups and violence, we are focusing on the wrong threats. Our societies are too affluent, too elderly, and too networked to fall apart as they did in the past. We need new ways of thinking the unthinkable--a twenty-first-century vision of the end of democracy, and whether its collapse might allow us to move forward to something better. A provocative book by a major political philosopher, How Democracy Ends asks the most trenchant questions that underlie the disturbing patterns of our contemporary political life.
Posted in Political Science

Billionaire Democracy

The Hijacking of the American Political System

Author: George Tyler

Publisher: BenBella Books

ISBN: 1944648933

Category: Political Science

Page: 242

View: 6634

This isn’t your America. No matter who the president is. We’re told that when we vote, when we elect representatives, we’re gaining a voice in government and the policies it implements. But if that’s true, why don’t American politics actually translate our preferences into higher-living standards for the majority of us? The answer is that, in America, the wealthy few have built a system that works in their favor, while maintaining the illusion of democracy. The reality is that the quality of democracy in the United States is lower than in any other rich democracy, on a par with nations such as Brazil or Turkey. In the US, voters have little influence on eventual policy outcomes engineered by lawmakers. Political scientists call it the income bias and attribute it to the power of wealthy donors who favor wage suppression and cuts to important government programs such as public education and consumer protection. It causes American lawmakers to compete to satisfy preferences of donors from the top one percent instead of the middle class. It’s also why our economy has been misfiring for most Americans for a generation, wages stagnating and opportunity dwindling. The election of Donald Trump shocked the world, but for many Americans, it came as a stark reflection of mounting frustrations with our current system and anger at the status quo. We need to find a way to fix the way our government serves us. The only realistic pathway to improve middle-class economics is for Congress and the Supreme Court to raise the quality of American democracy. In Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System, economist George R. Tyler lays out the fundamental problems plaguing our democracy. He explains how the American democratic system is rigged and how it has eroded the middle class, providing an unflinching and honest comparison of the US government to peer democracies abroad. He also breaks down where we fall short and how other rich democracies avoid the income bias created by the overwhelming role of money in US politics. Finally, Tyler outlines practical campaign finance reforms we can adopt when we finally focus on improving the political responsiveness of our government. It’s time for the people of this nation to demand a government that properly serves us, the American people.
Posted in Political Science

Torture and Democracy

Author: Darius Rejali

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400830877

Category: Political Science

Page: 880

View: 6176

This is the most comprehensive, and most comprehensively chilling, study of modern torture yet written. Darius Rejali, one of the world's leading experts on torture, takes the reader from the late nineteenth century to the aftermath of Abu Ghraib, from slavery and the electric chair to electrotorture in American inner cities, and from French and British colonial prison cells and the Spanish-American War to the fields of Vietnam, the wars of the Middle East, and the new democracies of Latin America and Europe. As Rejali traces the development and application of one torture technique after another in these settings, he reaches startling conclusions. As the twentieth century progressed, he argues, democracies not only tortured, but set the international pace for torture. Dictatorships may have tortured more, and more indiscriminately, but the United States, Britain, and France pioneered and exported techniques that have become the lingua franca of modern torture: methods that leave no marks. Under the watchful eyes of reporters and human rights activists, low-level authorities in the world's oldest democracies were the first to learn that to scar a victim was to advertise iniquity and invite scandal. Long before the CIA even existed, police and soldiers turned instead to "clean" techniques, such as torture by electricity, ice, water, noise, drugs, and stress positions. As democracy and human rights spread after World War II, so too did these methods. Rejali makes this troubling case in fluid, arresting prose and on the basis of unprecedented research--conducted in multiple languages and on several continents--begun years before most of us had ever heard of Osama bin Laden or Abu Ghraib. The author of a major study of Iranian torture, Rejali also tackles the controversial question of whether torture really works, answering the new apologists for torture point by point. A brave and disturbing book, this is the benchmark against which all future studies of modern torture will be measured.
Posted in Political Science

The Sociology of Law and the Global Transformation of Democracy

Author: Chris Thornhill

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107199905

Category: Law

Page: 590

View: 435

Provides a new legal-sociological theory of democracy, reflecting the impact of global law on national political institutions. This title is also available as Open Access.
Posted in Law

Stealing Democracy

The New Politics of Voter Suppression

Author: Spencer Overton

Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated

ISBN: 9780393330939

Category: Political Science

Page: 237

View: 7216

A critical analysis of the practice of partisan control over ballot boxes identifies how such practices as voter selection, booth distribution, and district boundary setting are used to manipulate the outcomes of key decisions, suggesting options for the restoration of democratic self-government. Reprint.
Posted in Political Science

Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan

Author: Audrey L. Altstadt

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231801416

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 5171

Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan follows a newly independent oil-rich former Soviet republic as it adopts a Western model of democratic government and then turns toward corrupt authoritarianism. Audrey L. Altstadt begins with the Nagorno-Karabagh War (1988–1994) which triggered Azerbaijani nationalism and set the stage for the development of a democratic movement. Initially successful, this government soon succumbed to a coup. Western oil companies arrived and money flowed in—a quantity Altstadt calls “almost unimaginable”—causing the regime to resort to repression to maintain its power. Despite Azerbaijan’s long tradition of secularism, political Islam emerged as an attractive alternative for those frustrated with the stifled democratic opposition and the lack of critique of the West’s continued political interference. Altstadt’s work draws on instances of censorship in the Azerbaijani press, research by embedded experts and nongovernmental and international organizations, and interviews with diplomats and businesspeople. The book is an essential companion to her earlier works, The Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity Under Russian Rule and The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920–1940.
Posted in Political Science

In Search of Democracy

Author: Larry Diamond

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317411366

Category: Political Science

Page: 486

View: 2464

This book evaluates the global status and prospects of democracy, with an emphasis on the quality of democratic institutions and the effectiveness of governance as key conditions for stable democracy. Bringing together a wide range of the author’s work over the past three decades, it advances a framework for assessing the quality of democracy and it analyzes alternative measures of democracy. Drawing on the most recent data from Freedom House, it assesses the global state of democracy and freedom, as of the beginning of 2015, and it explains why the world has been experiencing a mild but now deepening recession of democracy and freedom since 2005. A major theme of the book across the three decades of the author’s work is the relationship between democratic quality and stability. Democracies break down, Diamond argues, not so much because of economic factors but because of corrupt, inept governance that violates individual rights and the rule of law. The best way to secure democracy is to ensure that democracy is accountable, transparent, genuinely competitive, respectful of individual rights, inclusive of diverse forms and sources of participation, and responsive to the needs and aspirations of ordinary citizens. Viable democracy requires not only a state that can mobilize power to achieve collective goals, but also one that can restrain and punish the abuse of power—a particularly steep challenge for poor countries and those with natural resource wealth. The book examines these themes both in broad comparative perspective and with a deeper analysis of historical trends and future prospects in Africa and Asia,. Concluding with lessons for sustaining and reforming policies to promote democracy internationally, this book is essential reading for students and scholars interested in democracy, as well as politics and international relations more generally.
Posted in Political Science

Prosecutors and Democracy

A Cross-National Study

Author: Máximo Langer,David Alan Sklansky

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107187559

Category: Law

Page: 332

View: 8287

Focusing on the relationship between prosecutors and democracy, this volume throws light on key questions about prosecutors and the role they should play in liberal self-government. Internationally distinguished scholars discuss how prosecutors can strengthen democracy, how they sometimes undermine it, and why it has proven so challenging to hold prosecutors accountable while insulating them from politics. The contributors explore the different ways legal systems have addressed that challenge in the United States, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe. Contrasting those strategies allows an assessment of their relative strengths - and a richer understanding of the contested connections between law and democratic politics. Chapters are in explicit conversation with each other, facilitating comparison and deepening the analysis. This is an important new resource for legal scholars and reformers, political philosophers, and social scientists.
Posted in Law

Carbon Democracy

Political Power in the Age of Oil

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781681163

Category: Political Science

Page: 292

View: 5549

Carbon Democracy provides a unique examination of the relationship between oil and democracy. Interweaving the history of energy, political analysis, and economic theory, Mitchell targets conventional wisdom regarding energy and governance. Emphasizing how oil and democracy have intermixed, he argues that while coal provided the impetus for mass democracy, the shift to oil drastically limited democratic possibility; above all, the ability to confront contemporary ecological crises.
Posted in Political Science