The Jury and Democracy: How Jury Deliberation Promotes Civic Engagement and Political Participation

Synopsis

Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and the U.S. Supreme Court have all alleged that jury service promotes civic and political engagement, yet none could prove it. Finally,The Jury and Democracyprovides compelling systematic evidence to support this view.

Drawing from in-depth interviews, thousands of juror surveys, and court and voting records from across the United States, the authors show that serving on a jury can trigger changes in how citizens view themselves, their peers, and their government--and can even significantly increase electoral turnout among infrequent voters. Jury service also sparks long-term shifts in media use, political action, and community involvement.

In an era when involved Americans are searching for ways to inspire their fellow citizens,The Jury and Democracyoffers a plausible and realistic path for turning passive spectators into active political participants.

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