This is “Recommended Reading”, section 8.6 from the book 21st Century American Government and Politics (v. 1.0).
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Conway, M. Margaret. Political Participation in the United States, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2000. An overview of trends in political participation.
Foot, Kirsten A, and Steven M. Schneider. Web Campaigning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. An examination of the evolution of the use of the Internet in election campaigns.
Frantzich, Stephen E. Citizen Democracy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. A series of compelling stories of how average people have made a difference through political participation.
Freeman, Jo, and Victoria Johnson, eds. Waves of Protest. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. A collection of articles on a variety of protest movements, including AIDS activism, the fight for the rights of the disabled, and the women’s movement of the 1990s.
Hindman, Matthew. The Myth of Digital Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008. Hindman discusses the common contention that the Internet has made political participation more accessible to the general public and finds instead that online politics is dominated by a new, technologically savvy elite.
Jacobs, Lawrence R., Fay Lomax Cook, and Michael X. Delli Carpini. Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. The authors examine how and why citizens engage in political conversations that can contribute to political participation.
Johnson, Thomas J., Carol E. Hays, and Scott P. Hays, eds. Engaging the Public. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998. Scholars and journalists discuss ways in which government and the mass media can stimulate political activity.
Piven, Frances Fox, and Richard A. Cloward. Why Americans Still Don’t Vote. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000. Discusses historical trends in voter turnout, and provides explanations for nonvoting.
Schier, Stephen E. By Invitation Only: The Rise of Exclusive Politics in the United States. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. Contends that American political participation falls short of democratic ideals because political parties, interest groups, and campaigns target small exclusive segments of the population with their activation strategies. The importance of money for successful mobilization efforts is emphasized.
Schudson, Michael. The Good Citizen. New York: Free Press, 1998. Schudson provides a historical overview of civic participation in the United States, including a discussion of the part played by mass media at each stage of development.
Skocpol, Theda, and Morris P. Fiorina, eds. Civic Engagement in American Democracy. Washington, DC: Brookings, 1999. A collection of essays that attempts to sort out the reasons for and implications of Americans’ disappointing levels of political participation.