#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media

Princeton University Press
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Nudge and The World According to Star Wars, a revealing account of how today's Internet threatens democracy—and what can be done about it

As the Internet grows more sophisticated, it is creating new threats to democracy. Social media companies such as Facebook can sort us ever more efficiently into groups of the like-minded, creating echo chambers that amplify our views. It's no accident that on some occasions, people of different political views cannot even understand each other. It's also no surprise that terrorist groups have been able to exploit social media to deadly effect.

Welcome to the age of #Republic.

In this revealing book, Cass Sunstein, the New York Times bestselling author of Nudge and The World According to Star Wars, shows how today's Internet is driving political fragmentation, polarization, and even extremism—and what can be done about it.

Thoroughly rethinking the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet, Sunstein describes how the online world creates "cybercascades," exploits "confirmation bias," and assists "polarization entrepreneurs." And he explains why online fragmentation endangers the shared conversations, experiences, and understandings that are the lifeblood of democracy.

In response, Sunstein proposes practical and legal changes to make the Internet friendlier to democratic deliberation. These changes would get us out of our information cocoons by increasing the frequency of unchosen, unplanned encounters and exposing us to people, places, things, and ideas that we would never have picked for our Twitter feed.

#Republic need not be an ironic term. As Sunstein shows, it can be a rallying cry for the kind of democracy that citizens of diverse societies most need.

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About the author

Cass R. Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School. His many books include the New York Times bestsellers Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler) and The World According to Star Wars.
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Additional Information

Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 7, 2017
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Political Science / Censorship
Political Science / Political Freedom
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
Political Science / Political Process / General
Political Science / Political Process / Media & Internet
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Questions of gender, race, class, and sexuality have largely been left unexamined in surveillance studies. The contributors to this field-defining collection take up these questions, and in so doing provide new directions for analyzing surveillance. They use feminist theory to expose the ways in which surveillance practices and technologies are tied to systemic forms of discrimination that serve to normalize whiteness, able-bodiedness, capitalism, and heterosexuality. The essays discuss the implications of, among others, patriarchal surveillance in colonial North America, surveillance aimed at curbing the trafficking of women and sex work, women presented as having agency in the creation of the images that display their bodies via social media, full-body airport scanners, and mainstream news media discussion of honor killings in Canada and the concomitant surveillance of Muslim bodies. Rather than rehashing arguments as to whether or not surveillance keeps the state safe, the contributors investigate what constitutes surveillance, who is scrutinized, why, and at what cost. The work fills a gap in feminist scholarship and shows that gender, race, class, and sexuality should be central to any study of surveillance.

Contributors. Seantel Anaïs, Mark Andrejevic, Paisley Currah, Sayantani DasGupta, Shamita Das Dasgupta, Rachel E. Dubrofsky, Rachel Hall, Lisa Jean Moore, Yasmin Jiwani, Ummni Khan, Shoshana Amielle Magnet, Kelli Moore, Lisa Nakamura, Dorothy Roberts, Andrea Smith, Kevin Walby, Megan M. Wood, Laura Hyun Yi Kang
“Sunstein has written the story of impeachment every citizen needs to know. This is a remarkable, essential book.” — Doris Kearns Goodwin As Benjamin Franklin famously put it, Americans have a republic, if we can keep it. Preserving the Constitution and the democratic system it supports is the public’s responsibility. One route the Constitution provides for discharging that duty—a route rarely traveled—is impeachment. Cass R. Sunstein provides a succinct citizen’s guide to an essential tool of self-government. He illuminates the constitutional design behind impeachment and emphasizes the people’s role in holding presidents accountable. Despite intense interest in the subject, impeachment is widely misunderstood. Sunstein identifies and corrects a number of misconceptions. For example, he shows that the Constitution, not the House of Representatives, establishes grounds for impeachment, and that the president can be impeached for abuses of power that do not violate the law. Even neglect of duty counts among the “high crimes and misdemeanors” delineated in the republic’s foundational document. Sunstein describes how impeachment helps make sense of our constitutional order, particularly the framers’ controversial decision to install an empowered executive in a nation deeply fearful of kings. With an eye toward the past and the future, Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide considers a host of actual and imaginable arguments for a president’s removal, explaining why some cases are easy and others hard, why some arguments for impeachment have been judicious and others not. In direct and approachable terms, it dispels the fog surrounding impeachment so that Americans of all political convictions may use their ultimate civic authority wisely.
El libro que inspiró a Barack Obama los fundamentos de la política al demostrar el poder de un pequeño empujón.

Por el Premio Nobel de Economía 2017 Richard H. Thaler.

En Un pequeño empujón, considerado ya un clásico y uno de los mejores libros sobre economía y política de las últimas décadas, Cass R. Sunstein y Richard H. Thaler, premio Nobel de Economía, observan cómo nuestras percepciones y decisiones dependen del modo en que se organizan ante nosotros las diferentes opciones. Gobiernos y empresas, pero también padres, profesores y médicos, se convierten así en una especie de «arquitectos de la elección».

A través de leves impulsos, conscientes, a menudo invisibles y cuyo coste económico y político es irrisorio, las personas e instituciones públicas o privadas pueden incentivar sin mermar la libertad de elección de los ciudadanos, y obtener así grandes logros en relación con la sanidad pública, las finanzas o la lucha contra la desigualdad. Un libro esencial para quienes formulan nuestras políticas públicas, pero cuya aplicabilidad en nuestras vidas cotidianas es sorprendente y maravillosamente eficaz.

«¿Cuántas veces se encuentra uno con un libro a la vez importante y divertido, práctico y profundo? De lectura obligada para quien quiera ver mejorar el funcionamiento de nuestras mentes y nuestra sociedad.»
Daniel Kahneman, Premio Nobel de Economía y autor de Pensar rápido, pensar despacio

«Me entusiasma este libro. Es uno de los pocos que han cambiado de un modo trascendente mi manera de ver el mundo.»
Steve Levitt, autor de Freakonomics

«El libro más importante que he leído en veinte años.»
Barry Schwartz, The American Prospect

«Fabuloso. Cambiará tu forma de pensar, no solo sobre el mundo que te rodea y algunos de sus mayores problemas, sino también sobre ti mismo.»
Michael Lewis, autor de La gran apuesta y Deshaciendo errores

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