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Anti-PluralismThe Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy$
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William A. Galston

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300228922

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300228922.001.0001

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Is Democracy at Risk in the United States?

Is Democracy at Risk in the United States?

(p.64) Five Is Democracy at Risk in the United States?

William A. Galston

Yale University Press

This chapter considers how the response of Americans to their country's economic, social, and political dysfunction has set the stage for a distinctively American populism. Many ordinary citizens hold American elites (often of both political parties) responsible for what has gone wrong over the past generation, and there is some basis for their view. At the same time that trust in expertise has declined, meritocratic norms and practices have propelled highly educated Americans to the highest reaches of the economy, media, and politics. This group has benefited from the transition to a knowledge-based economy as well as from freer flows of goods, people, and capital. Leaders have made at best half-hearted efforts to insulate average Americans from the negative consequences of these trends or to compensate them for their losses.

Keywords:   American populism, ordinary citizens, economy, politics, society, United States

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