Beyond the Electoral Connection

Beyond the Electoral Connection
A Reassessment of the Role of Voting in Contemporary American Politics

Kim Ezra Shienbaum

208 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus.
Cloth 1984 | ISBN 9780812279160 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512807509 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

"Unusually incisive . . . as sparse with words as it is imaginative in projecting ideas."—Ralph A. Straetz, New York University

"By skillful integration and synthesis . . . Shienbaum makes available . . . the findings of a generation of research. . . . Provocative."—Gerald DeMaio, Baruch College, City University of New York

American voting behavior has long been paradoxical. Although levels of voter participation increase with age, income, and education, middle- and upper-class voters—those who profess to hold the electoral process in the highest regard—still tend to cast their ballots by "image" rather than issue.

Beyond the Electoral Connection provides a comprehensive analysis and systematic explanation of this fundamental paradox. Kim Ezra Shienbaum's unusually broad perspective leads her to conclude that the nature of American democracy has been altered in fundamental ways over the past thirty years. She asserts that voters have rationally adjusted their political behavior to cope with a system in which public policy outcomes are determined largely by judicial and bureaucratic politics rather than through electoral politics. Shienbaum concludes that for the average "smart" voter, a trip to the polls is little more than an act of political ritualism: a demonstration of support for the status quo.

Kim Ezra Shienbaum is Emerita Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Camden.

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