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Too Dumb for Democracy?

Too Dumb for Democracy?

Brexit. Trump. Ford Nation. In this timely book, David Moscrop asks why we make irrational political decisions and whether our stone-age brains can process democracy in the information age.

In an era overshadowed by income inequality, environmental catastrophes, terrorism at home and abroad, and the decline of democracy, Moscrop argues that the political decision-making process has 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.


David Moscrop is a political theorist with an interest in democratic deliberation and citizenship. Moscrop is a regular writer for Maclean’s, a contributing columnist to the Washington Post, and a regular political commentator on television and radio. He has also authored pieces in numerous other newspapers and magazines including the Globe and Mail and National Post.

"Moscrop is one of those most marvelous and rare things, a brilliant scholar who can synthesize history, politics, and science and explain them in a way that doesn't make the reader feel like they're being forced to do homework. You'll have a much better understanding of what's going on around you, and how to be part of the solution to the big issues facing all of us today." — Mark Bourrie

"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

254 pages
Pub date: March 5, 2019

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