If You Build It, Let Them Play

in Real Democracy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780226077963
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226077987 | DOI:
If You Build It, Let Them Play

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Beyond town size, issues are the single most important variable that draws citizens to town meeting. Beyond meeting size, issues are the most important determinant of discussion at town meeting. Moreover, it has been found that (voluminous and respected studies notwithstanding) contentious issues and the conflict they often produce are not subdued by small-town life. Indeed, the evidence is quite to the contrary. Open conflict over issues seems more likely in the smaller towns. It is time to explore these issues (conflict and all) that add so much zest (and participation) to the practice of real democracy.

Keywords: town meeting; town size; small-town life; real democracy; town issues; conflicts

Chapter.  9815 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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