Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Book launch: “Why Bother? Rethinking Participation in Elections and Protests”

“This beautifully written book offers a simple theory to explain popular behavior in elections and protests. Aytaç and Stokes ask why people are sometimes not dissuaded from participation even when it becomes more difficult or dangerous. Why Bother? gives us hope that there are critical brakes on democratic backsliding. It comes at just the right moment.” ––Nicholas Valentino, University of Michigan

Authors Susan Stokes and Selim Erdem Aytaç discuss Why Bother? Rethinking Participation in Elections and Protests, in a conversation moderated by Jim Robinson, Director of the Pearson Institute. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

About the Book: Why do vote-suppression efforts sometimes fail? Why does police repression of demonstrators sometimes turn localized protests into massive, national movements? How do politicians and activists manipulate people’s emotions to get them involved? The authors of Why Bother? offer a new theory of why people take part in collective action in politics, and test it in the contexts of voting and protesting. They develop the idea that just as there are costs of participation in politics, there are also costs of abstention – intrinsic and psychological but no less real.

About the Authors: Susan Stokes is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Chicago Center on Democracy. Selim Erdem Aytaç is an assistant professor of political science in the Department of International Relations at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Location: 57th Street Books (1301 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637)
Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm CDT
Cost: Free