Episode 207: The Case for Responsible Parties

Relevant Reading:

Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself 
Frances McCall Rosenbluth & Ian Shapiro

Empower Political Parties to Revive Democratic Accountability
Frances McCall Rosenbluth & Ian Shapiro

All across the world, democratic reformers are seeking to bring more power directly to the people through referendums and ballot initiatives, direct selection of candidates via primaries, and electoral changes to encourage smaller and more representative parties. But what if such decentralizing reforms are actually making parties less accountable to the voters, and fueling the very grievances they are designed to address?

That’s the case made by Ian Shapiro and Frances McCall Rosenbluth in their new book Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself.  In a sweeping survey of electoral systems and their discontents, Shapiro and Rosenbluth argue that we have introduced too much democracy in the wrong places—and that robust competition between two large, disciplined parties remains the best model to foster real accountability.

The authors recently previewed the book with an excerpt in our pages. This week, Ian Shapiro joins the podcast to discuss its lessons for our own democracy, just one day after the midterms delivered the Democratic Party control of the House. Be sure to tune in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, where you can leave a review, and follow @aminterest on Twitter.

Published on: November 7, 2018
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