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Attention Deficit Democracy – The Paradox of Civic Engagement - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Attention Deficit Democracy: The Paradox of Civic Engagement

Ben Berger


Handwringing about political apathy is as old as democracy itself. As early as 425 BC, the playwright Aristophanes ridiculed his fellow Athenians for gossiping in the market instead of voting. In more recent decades, calls for greater civic engagement as a democratic cure-all have met with widespread agreement. But how realistic, or helpful, is it to expect citizens to devote more attention and energy to politics? This book provides a surprising new perspective on the problem of civic engagement, challenging idealists who aspire to revolutionize democracies and their citizens, but also taking ... More

Keywords: political apathy, moral engagement, civic engagement, politics, democracy, political engagement, Alexis de Tocqueville, Hannah Arendt, public philosophy, social engagement

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780691144689
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691144689.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ben Berger, author
Swarthmore College