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Anxious Politics
Democratic Citizenship in a Threatening World

$29.99 (G)

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  • Date Published: September 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107441484

$ 29.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Emotions matter in politics – enthusiastic supporters return politicians to office, angry citizens march in the streets, a fearful public demands protection from the government. Anxious Politics explores the emotional life of politics, with particular emphasis on how political anxieties affect public life. When the world is scary, when politics is passionate, when the citizenry is anxious, does this politics resemble politics under more serene conditions? If politicians use threatening appeals to persuade citizens, how does the public respond? Anxious Politics argues that political anxiety triggers engagement in politics in ways that are potentially both promising and damaging for democracy. Using four substantive policy areas (public health, immigration, terrorism, and climate change), the book seeks to demonstrate that anxiety affects how we consume political news, who we trust, and what politics we support. Anxiety about politics triggers coping strategies in the political world, where these strategies are often shaped by partisan agendas.

    • The authors use multiple experiments to test the effects of anxiety on politics so the reader sees a variety of approaches
    • Using studies that rely on threatening campaign ads and threatening news articles or broadcasts, the book shows how anxiety operates in these contexts
    • The research is carried out across four policy areas: immigration, public health, terrorism and climate change and presents a set of issues that appeals to a variety of readers
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    • Co-Winner, 2016 Robert E. Lane Award, Political Psychology Section, American Political Science Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is a monumental contribution that is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary American politics. The authors not only fundamentally advance academic knowledge about anxiety and public opinion but also offer critical insights into issues of the utmost importance (e.g., immigration, climate change, terrorism, etc.). The book will clearly shape future research agendas and ongoing policy discussions."
    James N. Druckman, Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University, Illinois

    "Albertson and Gadarian marshal an impressive array of evidence to demonstrate how anxiety shapes the behavior of citizens for both better and worse, how it can transcend and yet bend to partisan politics. Anxious Politics offers the most in-depth investigation into the political effects of anxiety to date and advances critical amendments to earlier scientific accounts. This is essential reading for understanding why attempts to stir up political fears can by turns promote democratic citizenship, subvert it, and fall on deaf ears."
    Ted Brader, University of Michigan

    "How do political communications that foster feelings of threat and insecurity influence citizens - how and what they learn, who they trust, and what policies they advocate? Anxious Politics offers a compelling set of answers to these important questions through experimental analyses that range widely across issues, context, and message form. Anyone with an interest in public opinion should read this book."
    Laura Stoker, Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107441484
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 35 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Anxiety in public life
    2. What's your worry? Finding and creating anxiety in the American public
    3. Anxiety, immigration, and the search for information
    4. Don't worry, be trusting? The effect of anxiety on political trust
    5. The politics of anxiety: anxiety's role on public opinion
    6. Anxiety and democratic citizenship.

  • Authors

    Bethany Albertson, University of Texas, Austin
    Bethany Albertson is an Assistant Professor of Government at the University of Texas, Austin. She received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Previously, she was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton and on faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Harrington Foundation. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Behavior, Political Psychology and American Politics Research.

    Shana Kushner Gadarian, Syracuse University, New York
    Shana Kushner Gadarian is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She received a PhD in Politics from Princeton University. Previously, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Campbell Public Affairs Institute, and the Bobst Center for Peace and Justice. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Political Psychology, Political Communication, Perspectives on Politics, and volumes on experimental methods and political psychology.


    • Co-Winner, 2016 Robert E. Lane Award, Political Psychology Section, American Political Science Association

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