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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy

In this seminar, co-authors Professor Schlozman, Professor Verba and Dean Brady will discuss The Unheavenly Chorus, the first book to look at the political participation of individual citizens alongside the political advocacy of thousands of organized interests--membership associations such as unions, professional associations, trade associations, and citizens groups, as well as organizations like corporations, hospitals, and universities. Drawing on numerous in-depth surveys of members of the public as well as the largest database of interest organizations ever created--representing more than 35,000 organizations over a 25-year period--they conclusively demonstrate that American democracy is marred by deeply ingrained and persistent class-based political inequality. They argue that the well educated and affluent are active in many ways to make their voices heard, while the less advantaged are not. They reveal how the political voices of organized interests are even less representative than those of individuals, how political advantage is handed down across generations, how recruitment to political activity perpetuates and exaggerates existing biases, how political voice on the Internet replicates these inequalities--and more. The Unheavenly Chorus recently won two 2012 "Prose Awards" for professional and scholarly excellence given by the Association of American Publishers. The book was awarded honors in the field of government and politics and honors for the best book in social sciences.

  • Location:
    124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North
  • Date:
    Thursday, February 28, 2013
  • Time:
    4:10 PM

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John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
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