The issue of political participation has been central to American politics since the founding of the United States. The Politics of Democratic Inclusion addresses the ways traditionally underrepresented groups have and have not achieved political incorporation, representation, and influence—or "democratic inclusion"—in American politics. Each chapter provides a "state of the discipline" essay that addresses the politics of diversity from a range of perspectives and in a variety of institutional arenas.
Taken together, the essays in The Politics of Democratic Inclusion evaluate and advance our understanding of the ways in which the structure, processes, rules, and context of the American political order encourage, mediate, and hamper the representation and incorporation of traditionally disadvantaged groups.
"This sterling collection perceptively achieves its two central goals. It crisply summarizes what we know and need to learn about key facets of political participation. Its excellent essays also thoughtfully discuss the implications of the uneven inclusion they document in American political life."
—Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University and author of When Affirmative Action Was White
"The Politics of Democratic Inclusion seeks to highlight the myriad ways that political institutions foster or inhibit the inclusion of historically under-represented groups into contemporary American politics. Leading scholars not only spell-out the dilemmas that confront racial, ethnic and immigrant groups and women in the United States as they seek to influence politics, but also the roles that such institutions as political parties, local governments, the federal courts, the Congress and the presidency play in mediating, constraining and facilitating their access to power. Taken together, these essays should push students of democratic inclusion to look beyond the study of attitudes, beliefs and mass politics and closely examine how it is that institutions also matter in explaining the success and failure of disadvantaged groups as they seek a redress of their political and policy grievances. The result is a first-class and even path-breaking work of collaborative scholarship."
—Lawrence C. Dodd, Manning J. Dauer Eminent Scholar in Political Science, the University of Florida
“The best edited volumes are oriented around a compelling theme, address that core from diverse perspectives, and feature a collection of expert authors working at a high scholarly pitch. The Politics of Democratic Inclusion is one such book….Public officials in search of illumination would do well to pick up The Politics of Democratic Inclusion, both for a deeper understanding of the issues involved and a set of searching policy discussions.”
—“Perspectives on Politics”