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Political Disagreement

Political Disagreement
The Survival of Diverse Opinions within Communication Networks

$34.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology

  • Date Published: July 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521542234

$ 34.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Without the experience of disagreement, political communication among citizens loses value and meaning. At the same time, political disagreement and diversity do not always or inevitably survive. This book, accordingly, considers the compelling issue of the circumstances that sustain political diversity, even in politically high stimulus environments where individuals are attentive to politics and the frequency of communication among citizens is correspondingly high.

    • Addresses an important problem in democratic politics by using an innovative combination of empirical data and theoretical models
    • Undertakes analysis of important data that provides a rare observational vantange point regarding patterns of political discussion
    • Employs agent-based simulations that portray complex patterns of communication as an emergent property of interdependent citizens
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This book provides an interesting and informative account of Huckfeldt, Johnson, and Sprague's reserach on disagreement about U.S. presidential candidates. It is worth reading for the computer simulations results (and information on how to download the program!) alone. The book is an excellent example of how empirical, theoretical, and simluation approaches can work together to inform science." PsycCritiques

    "...a most welcome addition to our collective knowledge that is guaranteed to stimulate further discussion and disagreement in future years." - Public Opinion Quarterly, Lilach Nir, The Hebrew University

    “This new study by Robert Huckfeldt, Paul Johnson and John Sprague addresses an important problem and does so with such innovative and well-executed theory and data that I have no doubt whatsoever that the book deserves such recognition; indeed, it is a must-read for all social scientists interested in how democracies can be sustained.” – Perspective on Politics, James L. Gibson, Washington University in St. Louis

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521542234
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 27 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Communication, influence, and the capacity of citizens to disagree
    2. New information, old information, and persistent disagreement
    3. Dyads, networks, and autoregressive influence
    4. Disagreement, heterogeneity, and the effectiveness of political communication
    5. Disagreement, heterogeneity, and persuasion: how does disagreement survive?
    6. Agent-based explanations, patterns of communication, and the inevitability of homogeneity
    7. Agent-based explanations, autoregressive influence, and the survival of disagreement
    8. Heterogeneous networks and citizen capacity: disagreement ambivalence, and engagement
    9. Summary, implications, and conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Political Communication
  • Authors

    Robert Huckfeldt, University of California, Davis
    Robert Huckfeldt is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis. His interests lie in the areas of elections, public opinion, political communication, urban politics, and more generally in the relationships among groups and individuals in politics. He is the author of Dynamic Modeling (with Thomas Likens and Carol Weitzel Kohfeld, 1982), Politics in Context (2003), Race and the Decline of Class in American Politics (with Carol Weitzel Kohfeld, 1989) and Citizens, Politics, and Social Communication (with John Sprague, 1995). He has contributed articles to the American Political Science Review, The American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the American Journal of Political Science, as well as other journals.

    Paul E. Johnson, University of Kansas
    Paul Johnson has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Theoretical Politics, Rationality and Society, The American Behavioral Scientist, and other journals. His articles include applications of game theory, social choice theory, and complexity theory. He currently has an avid interest in the development of tools for agent based modeling and computer simulation in the social sciences. He is the lead author of the Swarm User Guide, the manual that is distributed with the Swarm Simulation System. He is contributing to the development of Swarm and offers the Swarm FAQ as well as pre-packaged versions of Swarm for Linux users as well as several example programs.

    John Sprague, Washington University, St Louis
    Professor Sprague has written on voting and elections, the history of socialist voting, voting patterns in the US Supreme Court, lawyers in politics, and crime including homicide. His academic career has been wholly at Washington University, St Louis, where he has been chair of the Department of Political Science. He is the author of Voting Patterns on the US Supreme Court (1969), Lawyers in Politics (with Heinz Eulau, 1984), The Dynamics of Riots (with Barbara Salert, 1980), Systems Analysis for Social Scientists (with Fernando Cortez and Adam Prseworski, 1974), Paper Stones: A History of Electoral Socialism (with Adam Przeworski, 1988) and Citizens, Politics, and Social Communication (with Robert Huckfeldt, Cambridge, 1995). He has contributed articles to the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the American Journal of Political Science, Political Methodology, Criminology, and other journals.

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