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Accelerating Democracy: Transforming Governance Through Technology Hardcover – December 30, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

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"[McGinnis] shines an important light on a discussion that will only grow more lively as technology creates at once more opportunities and more challenges for government."--Foreign Affairs

"You can support or dismiss his proposals, but you cannot deny that the author makes a major effort to bring forth ingenious measures to really 'accelerate democracy'. Thus, this provocative book is worth reading for everybody interested in improving policymaking, or all those willing to explore new ways to help citizens through a more efficient use of technology."--Ana Polo Alonso, LSE Review of Books

"[T]he book is valuable for the stance it takes on the very pressing question of how democracies should adapt to the information revolution. The take-home message for young democracies, no doubt appealing also to many readers of this journal, is that the social sciences deserve as much support as the natural sciences. The more accurately the outcomes of government policies can be predicted, the better the information revolution can be harnessed, and the fewer public funds will be wasted on unrealistic policies. If McGinnis is right, then the heyday of the social sciences lies right before us."--Christian Gobel, Democratization

From the Back Cover

"This is an outstanding book with a timely argument. McGinnis makes the important point that information is accelerating and democratic governance needs to evolve in response to rapid changes in information technology and other scientific fields. The breadth of his analysis and the keen insights he provides at many levels of the problem are impressive."--Darrell M. West, author of Digital Government: Technology and Public Sector Performance

"McGinnis discusses the challenges and opportunities for governance created by the rapid advance of technology, and analyzes these issues in a manner that is new and distinct. Accelerating Democracy tackles an important subject that has not been properly addressed in the literature to date."--Glenn H. Reynolds, University of Tennessee

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (December 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691151024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691151021
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,397,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John R. Lott Jr. on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
McGinnis has written a well written insightful book. Advances in technology, specifically computers, have vastly improved the information people can obtain and given them the power to process it in ways that were impossible to conceive of previously. McGinnis' book has tons of useful insights about how this process is changing and the implications that it has. It makes government easier to monitor. While others have talked about how the lower cost of information has made it more difficult for totalitarian countries to control populations, McGinnis goes further than those other discussions.

What is missing is in the book is how advances in technology makes it easier for government to control people. I would think that if the book had been written a year later, the NSA collection of everything from the numbers people call, how long they talk, and where they call from. Or the scanning of emails and telephone calls for key words. It seems that there is technology race between advances that increase democracy and those changes that make it easier for the government to control people.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ZD on June 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
McGinnis presents a well researched synthesis of multiple burgeoning areas of data science and their possible influence on government and electorates. For each major topic, he offers some practical legislative suggestions for the audience to consider. At times, Accelerating can seem heavily futuristic, however McGinnis is comprehensive and provides a logical path for how we can potentially achieve these goals within our lifetimes.

I would recommend this book to the academic student of government or law, or to the practical student of statistics or data science. As McGinnis shows, there is an incredible amount of potential in a wide range of disciplines. In terms of effective and positive governance, we have a lot to look forward to.
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By Neil Ross on April 5, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant ideas
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