Democracy Despite Itself: Why a System That Shouldn't Work at All Works So Well

MIT Press
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Voters often make irrational decisions based on inaccurate and irrelevant information. Politicians are often inept, corrupt, or out of touch with the will of the people. Elections can be determined by the design of the ballot and the gerrymandered borders of a district. And yet, despite voters who choose candidates according to the boxer--brief dichotomy and politicians who struggle to put together a coherent sentence, democracy works exceptionally well: citizens of democracies are healthier, happier, and freer than citizens of other countries. In Democracy Despite Itself, Danny Oppenheimer, a psychologist, and Mike Edwards, a political scientist, explore this paradox: How can democracy lead to such successful outcomes when the defining characteristic of democracy -- elections -- is so flawed?

Oppenheimer and Edwards argue that democracy works because regular elections, no matter how flawed, produce a variety of unintuitive, positive consequences. The brilliance of democracy, write Oppenheimer and Edwards, does not lie in the people's ability to pick superior leaders. It lies in the many ways that it subtly encourages the flawed people and their flawed leaders to work toward building a better society.

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Additional Information

Publisher
MIT Press
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Published on
Jan 27, 2012
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780262300957
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
Psychology / Applied Psychology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Mike Edwards
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It is a story of relentless adventure, journeying from the scrublands of the North Western Frontier, to the jungles of Burma, to the UK on the eve of D Day and to the corridors of power in an independent India. The resourcefulness of the Indians and their sheer skill and determination meant that they could overcome the myriad of challenges thrown at them, much to the surprise and dismay of some officers of the Raj.
It is a story of mutual respect forged and strengthened across lines of religion, caste, creed and race, as the Indian's undeniable courage and resilience won even the hearts and minds of their British counterparts and one man was the center of it all.
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Keywords: develop self discipline, willpower and self discipline, self-discipline, self control books, stress, reach your goals, self-control, achieve your goals, instant gratification, long term goals, goal setting success, goal setting books, how to reach your goals, how to achieve your goals, persistence, how not to give up, stick to a diet, stay motivated, build habits, delayed gratification, personal development
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Keywords:

Develop self discipline, willpower and self discipline, self-discipline, self control books, stress, reach your goals, self-control, achieve your goals, instant gratification, long term goals, goal setting success, goal setting books, how to reach your goals, how to achieve your goals, persistence, how not to give up, stick to a diet, stay motivated, build habits, delayed gratification, personal development

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Their willingness to pay any price to uphold the honour and integrity of their Air Force meant an uphill battle against bigotry, difficult conditions of work and outdated equipment. However, showing tremendous fortitude, Harjinder and his men took the fight to the enemy and rose splendidly to the occasion. Be it the formidable Japanese, the mighty Germans or the resolute tribal warriors none could break the spirit of these airborne Indians.
It is a story of relentless adventure, journeying from the scrublands of the North Western Frontier, to the jungles of Burma, to the UK on the eve of D Day and to the corridors of power in an independent India. The resourcefulness of the Indians and their sheer skill and determination meant that they could overcome the myriad of challenges thrown at them, much to the surprise and dismay of some officers of the Raj.
It is a story of mutual respect forged and strengthened across lines of religion, caste, creed and race, as the Indian's undeniable courage and resilience won even the hearts and minds of their British counterparts and one man was the center of it all.
Harjinder's is a life of intense friendship, of great ingenuity and of hard-work and dedication, interspersed with the humor and merriment that is ever present in the military environment. It was a bottom to top career for the lowly Hawai Sepoy who went on to become one of the top officers of the IAF. He is credited with the endeavor to make the Indian Air force self-reliant and designed, built and test flew two different aircraft to prove his point. He was one of the driving forces behind making the Indian Air Force the 4th largest in the world, an astonishing feat given the twin challenges of nation building and partition.
Thus the only 'disgrace' to emerge from this book is how Harjinder's story could remain untold for so long.
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