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By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy through Deliberative Elections

By John Gastil | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

In the course of writing this book, friends and acquaintances provided vivid illustrations of the key concepts in Albert Hirschman's theory of exit, voice, and loyalty. Some grew weary of my endless ranting about elections and found tactful ways of leaving me to chatter by myself. Others hesitated to flee before voicing their concerns about details both minor and major in my manuscript, and the true loyalists continued to listen and offer critiques even after making unheeded but credible threats of eventual exit.

The most influential of the voices in this group was that of Ned Crosby, who developed the idea of a “citizen jury” just one year after Hirschman's Exit, Voice, and Loyalty went to press. In the thirty years since, Ned has conducted invaluable experiments in public deliberation and has seen his ideas influence both academics and civic reformers. I thank him for cajoling, challenging, and encouraging me as I wrote this book. For similar reasons, I am grateful to David Mathews at the Kettering Foundation and James Fishkin at the University of Texas at Austin. The innovative programs in public deliberation they created have stimulated my imagination for many years.

Unbeknownst to me, this book has been developing in my mind since 1993, and many people have shaped my thinking during that time. Pat Baca, Michael Briand, John Daniels, John Dedrick, Jim Dillard, Dede Feldman, Mary Feldbloom, Murray Fischel, Cisco McSorley, Gilbert St. Clair, Todd Wynward, and my ever-campaigning parents

-vii-

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