Fixing American Politics
Solutions for the Media Age
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2021
Fixing American Politics: Solutions for the Media Age brings together original chapters from 34 noted scholars from two disciplines – Political Science and Communication – asked to identify the most pressing problems facing the American people and how they can be solved. Authors address the questions succinctly and directly, with their favored solutions featured in chapter titles that exhort and inspire.
The book gives the reader much to think about and debate. Should news outlets be funded with public money rather than by private enterprise? Are the new social media a boon or a bane to political elections? Is the American past dead or is it living once again? Do churchgoers and environmentalists have anything to discuss? Is the F.C.C. doing its job? Can political ads be made less toxic? Should Fox News be "cancelled?" Should cancel cultures be cancelled? Can we become more civil to one another and, if so, how? Fixing American Politics poses all the best questions … and offers some concrete answers as well. This book is perfect for students, citizens, the media, and anyone concerned with contemporary challenges to civic life and discourse today.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
Chapter 1: Make Politics Your Passion
Roderick P. Hart
Part 1: Make History Functional
Chapter 2: Let’s Find a Usable Past
Jill A. Edy
Chapter 3: Understand Your Moment in Time
David A. Crockett
Chapter 4: Heed the Prophetic Voice
Chapter 5: Experiment with Playful Protest
Part 2: Exploit Human Capacities
Chapter 6: Let Consensus Overcome Polarization
Marc J. Hetherington
Chapter 7: Use Emotion Wisely
Bethany L. Albertson
Chapter 8: Explore the Reasons for Incivility
Chapter 9: Tell the Story of Poverty
Chapter 10: Imagine New Political Coalitions
Part 3: Open Your Mind
Chapter 11: Listen to the First Amendment
Chapter 12: Hear the Presidency Differently
Vanessa B. Beasley
Chapter 13: Fix the "Cancel Culture" Mentality
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
Chapter 14: Cultivate Empathy for Outgroups
Nicholas A. Valentino
Part 4: Confront the Establishment
Chapter 15: Counter a Reactive Media System
Dhavan V. Shah, Yini Zhang, Jon Pevehouse, and Sebastián Valenzuela
Chapter 16: Create a Watchdog Branch of Government
Chapter 17: Modernize Healthcare Decision-making
Chapter 18: Give Election Apps More Integrity
Chapter 19: Shake-Up the F.C.C.
Bartholomew H. Sparrow
Part 5: Upgrade Political Campaigns
Chapter 20: Study the Electorate Thoroughly
Chapter 21: Talk About Voters Thoughtfully
Sharon E. Jarvis
Chapter 22: Vote When Voting Really Counts
John C. Tedesco
Chapter 23: Make Ads Safe for Democracy
Glenn W. Richardson Jr.
Chapter 24: Let’s Outperform Super-PACs
Part 6: Reimagine Traditional Journalism
Chapter 25: Address Journalism’s Crisis Boldly
Regina G. Lawrence
Chapter 26: Measure Newsroom Effectiveness Differently
Talia J. Stroud and Yujin Kim
Chapter 27: Publicly Subsidize Journalism
David M. Ryfe
Chapter 28: Report on Terrorism Responsibly
Scott L. Althaus
Chapter 29: Challenge Fox News
Jeffrey P. Jones
Chapter 30: Enliven Your Civic Capacities
Roderick P. Hart holds the Shivers Chair in Communication and is Professor of Government at the University of Texas—Austin. He is also the founding director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life based in the Moody College of Communication where he was Dean from 2004-2015.
Praise for Fixing American Politics
Fixing American Politics, writes its editor Rod Hart in the opening chapter, "is based on two premises: (1) Politics is a terrible thing because (2) only politics can solve our most vexing problems." The authors of the subsequent 29 chapters take these premises and, drawing on their collective years of research and practice, run with them – in different directions, but always with insight, passion, creativity, and hope. Hart calls this book "distinctive." It is to be sure. But it is also timely, needed, and an example of what scholarship is ultimately for.
---Michael X. Delli Carpini, University of Pennsylvania
Hopeful. Provocative. Thoughtful. This lively and accessible collection is all that and more. It speaks to our current distressed moment but advocates, both concretely and audaciously, for ways it could be different. The essays here deserve to be widely read, taught, and debated--on college campuses, in book clubs, and among professionals in journalism and politics.
-- Peter Simonson, University of Colorado Boulder
In this timely and important volume, Rod Hart has assembled a collection of essays offering contrasting opinions, assessments, and solutions regarding the twin crises of legitimation and polarization challenging contemporary politics and elections in the United States. The essays include philosophical and historical discussions as well as practical and strategic calls for action, and they cover diverse issues such as political advertising, journalistic practices, civic engagement, and legislative and regulatory reforms. Readers are offered lively and engaging perspectives that will stimulate robust conversations that may help us improve our political deliberations and learn to listen and communicate with each other again.
--Thomas A. Hollihan, University of Southern California
Fixing American Politics achieves the elusive Goldilocks standard. Instead of an inflated cure-all or a shallow laundry list, Hart assembles a highly diverse and substantive set of prescriptions for healing our republic. Instead of naive fantasies or complacent band-aids, the proposals embody both passion and perspective. Instead of Cassandra or Dr. Pangloss, we meet sober optimists, ready to guide us through the strong, slow boring of hard boards that is political reform.
--Michael A. Neblo, Ohio State University