"Smith and Tolbert make a remarkable contribution to the literature on direct democracy, focusing on the educative rather than the instrumental effects of the initiative and referendum. As such, this book highlights the importance of direct democracy, and provides new information as well as an alternative theoretical structure to examine its role in American political life."
--John Allswang, California State University, Los Angeles
"Smith and Tolbert take the claims made by early American advocates of direct democracy and hold them up to the light of rigorous empirical analysis. In so doing, they weave a rich history of the Progressive Era into sophisticated statistical tests that examine how citizens and political organizations respond to opportunities to participate in policy decisions."
--Todd Donovan, Western Washington University
"The citizen initiative feels good to voters, but in Educated by Initiative, Daniel Smith and Caroline Tolbert demonstrate that it's good for our democracy, too."
--Paul Jacobs, President of Citizens in Charge
About the Author
Daniel A. Smith (PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison) is a professor of Political Science at the University of Florida and the former director of UF's Political Campaigning Program. In addition to teaching state and local politics, he offers courses on political parties and interest groups, direct democracy, and the politics of reform. He has published widely on voting rights and election law, campaign finance, direct democracy, political parties, and interests groups. He serves on the board of directors of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation (BISCF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is the author of several books and over 50 articles and book chapters on American politics.
Caroline Tolbert is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, where she regularly teaches the introductory American government course and was awarded the Collegiate Scholar Award for excellence in teaching and research. Her research explores political behavior, elections, American state politics, and the Internet and politics. Tolbert is coauthor of Digital Citizenship: The Internet Society and Participation; Why Iowa? How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process; and Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide. Digital Citizenship was ranked one of 20 best-selling titles in the social sciences by the American Library Association in 2007. Her latest coauthored scholarly book is Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity. She is President of the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association.