The role of money and special interests in American democracy is a perennial topic, even more so during an election year. And this year, with super PACs playing a role for the first time, the debate over whether the wealthy and well-connected have undue influence in our election process has reached fever pitch. Is there evidence that those with more money have a louder political voice? Or that special interests are drowning out individual citizens?
On September 12, Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston will moderate a discussion of
The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy
(Princeton University Press, April 2012), by Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady. Using the largest interest group database ever compiled, the authors document dramatic inequalities among citizens in the ability to influence politics and policy. The extent of these differences raises troubling questions about the condition of American democracy. After presenting their arguments and evidence, the authors will respond to questions from the audience.
This event is part of the “Governing Ideas” series intended to broaden the discussion of governance issues through forums on timely and relevant books on history, culture, legal norms and practices, values and religion.