Democracy As Problem Solving Civic Capacity in Communities Across the Globe

ISBN-10: 0262524856
ISBN-13: 9780262524858
Edition: 2008
List price: $40.00
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Description: Complexity, division, mistrust, and "t;process paralysis"t; can thwart leaders and others when they tackle local challenges. In Democracy as Problem Solving,Xavier de Souza Briggs shows how civic capacity--the capacity to create and sustain smart  More...

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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 7/18/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 388
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.606
Language: English

Complexity, division, mistrust, and "t;process paralysis"t; can thwart leaders and others when they tackle local challenges. In Democracy as Problem Solving,Xavier de Souza Briggs shows how civic capacity--the capacity to create and sustain smart collective action--can be developed and used. In an era of sharp debate over the conditions under which democracy can develop while broadening participation and building community, Briggs argues that understanding and building civic capacity is crucial for strengthening governance and changing the state of the world in the process. More than managing a contest among interest groups or spurring deliberation to reframe issues, democracy can be what the public most desires: a recipe for significant progress on important problems. Briggs examines efforts in six cities, in the United States, Brazil, India, and South Africa, that face the millennial challenges of rapid urban growth, economic restructuring, and investing in the next generation. These challenges demand the engagement of government, business, and nongovernmental sectors. And the keys to progress include the ability to combine learning and bargaining continuously, forge multiple forms of accountability, and find ways to leverage the capacity of the grassroots and what Briggs terms the "t;grasstops,"t; regardless of who initiates change or who participates over time. Civic capacity, Briggs shows, can--and must--be developed even in places that lack traditions of cooperative civic action.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Foundations
Introduction
Democracy and Public Problems
Managing Urban Growth
Managing Urban Growth
The Problem and Its Civics
Rethinking the American West
A Civic Intermediary and the Movement for "Quality Growth" in Utah
The Grassroots-to-Grasstops Dynamic
Slum Redevelopment and Accountability in Mumbai
Restructuring the Economy
The Civics of Economic Restructuring
The Hyper-organized Region
Leading the Next "New Economy" in Pittsburgh
Progressive Regionalism and Entrepreneurial Government
Democratization and Competitive Restructuring in the Greater ABC, Brazil
Investing in the Next Generation
Leading Change in Child and Youth Well-Being
From the Ballot Box to Better Results
Cross-Sector Accountability in the San Francisco Children's Movement
Rights, Conflict, and Civic Capacity
Meeting the Needs of Poor Children and Families in Postapartheid Cape Town
Lessons
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

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