Too Dumb for Democracy?
Ahead of the 2019 federal election, David Moscrop explores why we make disastrous political decisions and whether our stone-age brains are equipped for democracy in the era of social media and relentless news.
In a world burdened by democratic decline, social inequality, environmental catastrophe, and terrorism at home and abroad, Moscrop argues that good political decision-making, as well as citizen engagement and participation, have never been more important. In fact, our survival may depend on it.
Drawing on both political science and psychology, Moscrop examines how our brains, our environment, the media, and institutions influence decision-making. Making good decisions is not impossible, Moscrop argues, but the psychological and political odds are sometimes stacked against us. In this readable and provocative investigation of our often-flawed decisions, Moscrop explains what's going wrong in today's political landscape and how individuals, societies, and institutions can work together to set things right.
"So much of modern political debate revolves around what people are feeling. It's nice to be reminded that deciding is the basic building block of democracy — not just for politicians, but for citizens too. If you've been worried lately about the state of democracy, Moscrop might just be able to help." — Susan Delacourt
"It is difficult, in the Age of Trump, not to lose faith in democracy. Moscrop, to his credit, does not avert his eyes from the magnitude of the problems that confront us. More important, however, is that he provides some serious suggestions as to where the solutions might lie." — Joseph Heath
"Anyone keen to understand the threat to democracy and wanting to consider some important steps to creating a more inclusive society will find much food for thought in David Moscrop’s incisive primer." — The Hill Times
"In many ways, Too Dumb for Democracy? is an ambitious plunge into neuroscience, politics, fake news, and how all of it can affect critical decision making at the ballot box. By focusing on the citizen, Moscrop skims over the fact that elected officials are just as guilty of perilous cognitive bias and knee-jerk thinking as John and Jane Doe." — Literary Review of Canada
Pub date: March 5, 2019