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American Democracy in an Age of Rising Inequality

  • American Political Science Association Task Force
Abstract

The Council of the American Political Science Association approved the appointment of a Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy in the fall of 2002. A fifteen-member task force was convened in January 2003 and collectively worked during the subsequent eighteen months to prepare extensive reviews of research on inequality and American democracy. (The research reviews are available on the APSA Web site—as are materials for undergraduate and graduate teaching—http://www.apsanet.org/inequality.) Based on three reviews, the task force prepared a short report, which forms the basis of the present text. It concludes that progress toward realizing American ideals of democracy may have stalled—and in some arenas reversed. The task force's work was extensively and rigorously debated among its members, scrutinized by three distinguished independent peers, and reviewed by the APSA Council. This report is ultimately the responsibility of its authors; no opinions, statements of fact, or conclusions should be attributed to the American Political Science Association or to the Russell Sage Foundation, which provided some support to the task force. The members of the task force are: Lawrence Jacobs (Chair, University of Minnesota), Ben Barber (University of Maryland), Larry Bartels (Princeton University), Michael Dawson (Harvard University), Morris Fiorina (Stanford University), Jacob Hacker (Yale University), Rodney Hero (Notre Dame University), Hugh Heclo (George Mason University), Claire Jean Kim (University of California, Irvine), Suzanne Mettler (Syracuse University), Benjamin Page (Northwestern University), Dianne Pinderhughes (University of Illinois, Champagne–Urbana), Kay Lehman Schlozman (Boston College), Theda Skocpol (Harvard University), and Sidney Verba (Harvard University).

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