Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.
"Democracy for Realists is a terrific book. It takes on big questions, is brimming with smart analysis and crisp argumentation, and the writing is elegant. There is pleasure and provocation on nearly every page. Achen and Bartels have made a major contribution to modern social science."--Donald R. Kinder, coauthor of The End of Race? Obama, 2008, and Racial Politics in America