What will it take to restore American democracy and rescue it from this moment of crisis? Civic Power argues that the current threat to US democracy is rooted not just in the outcome of the 2016 election, but in deeper, systemic forms of inequality that concentrate economic and political power in the hands of the few at the expense of the many. Drawing on historical and social science research and case studies of contemporary democratic innovations across the country, Civic Power calls for a broader approach to democracy reform focused on meaningfully redistributing power to citizens. It advocates for both reviving grassroots civil society and novel approaches to governance, policymaking, civic technology, and institutional design - aimed at dismantling structural disparities to build a more inclusive, empowered, bottom-up democracy, where communities and people have greater voice, power, and agency.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Democracy in crisis; Part I. Civic Power through Organizing: 2. Democracy and inequality as a function of the balance of power; 3. Organizing for power; Part II. Civic Power through Governance: 4. From governance to power – rethinking democracy reform; 5. Bureaucratizing participation; 6. Power-oriented policy design; 7. Conclusion – democracy's future; Bibliography.