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The Myth of Mob Rule – Violent Crime and Democratic Politics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Myth of Mob Rule: Violent Crime and Democratic Politics

Lisa L. Miller


Scholars and laypersons alike routinely express doubt about the ability of democratic publics to adequately assess risk and to respond rationally when emotionally charged issues like crime are on the political agenda, particularly when race and class biases are invoked. In the United States, which has the highest imprisonment rate in the developed world, many scholars have concluded that there are simply too many opportunities for elected officials to be responsive to public opinion. Democratic accountability, in this view, should be limited because too much democracy encourages impulsive, irr ... More

Keywords: violence, crime, political salience, democratic accountability, mob rule, punishment, race

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190228705
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190228705.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lisa L. Miller, author
Associate Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University