Why do politicians frequently heed the preferences of small groups of citizens over those of the majority? Breaking new theoretical ground, Benjamin Bishin explains how the desires of small groups, which he calls "subconstituencies," often trump the preferences of much larger groups.
Tyranny of the Minority provides a "unified theory of representation," based in social psychology and identity theory, to explain how citizens' intensity fosters knowledge and participation and drives candidates' behavior in campaigns and legislators' behavior in Congress. Demonstrating the wide applicability of the theory, Bishin traces politicians' behavior in connection with a wide range of issues, including the Cuban trade embargo, the extension of hate-crimes legislation to protect gay men and lesbians, the renewal of the assault-weapons ban, abortion politics, and Congress's attempt to recognize the Armenian genocide. He offers a unique explanation of when, why, and how special interests dominate American national politics.
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Temple University Press
April 27, 2009
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