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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. That abstention can be psychically costly helps explain real-world patterns that are anomalies for existing theories, such as that sometimes increases in costs of participation are followed by more participation, not less. The book draws on a wealth of survey data, interviews, and experimental results from a range of countries, including the United States, Britain, Brazil, Sweden, and Turkey.
Social and economic barriers can hinder access to quality palliative and end-of-life care for patients living in inner-city communities. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, we investigated the stresses associated with living with a chronic disease and barriers to access and utilization of palliative care resources experienced by low-income patients and caregivers in five inner-city communities.
Four focus groups (N = 33) were conducted with community stakeholders, including healthcare professionals (social workers and nurses), persons living with chronic illnesses (e.g., HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and cancer), and caregivers. Focus group responses were analyzed using thematic analyses.
Patients' and caregivers' stresses centered around five themes: lack of family support, communication barriers with healthcare professionals, minority stress, caregiver burden, and lack of spiritual support. The community stakeholders identified resources and services to improve access to care and the quality of life of underserved, low-income populations living with chronic illnesses.
Significance of Results:
A CBPR approach enabled us to develop an interdisciplinary and culturally sensitive intervention to begin addressing the palliative and end-of-life needs of the patients and caregivers of the inner-city community.
To gather fine-grained information about the preferences and behaviors of political brokers, we surveyed elected city councilors and non-elected activists who work for those councilors in the Argentine provinces of Córdoba, San Luis, and Misiones, as well as the Conurbano area of greater Buenos Aires. In this book, we refer to both councilors and non-elected activists as “brokers.” This is appropriate, as councilors may work as operatives for mayors or other politicians at higher levels of the political system, whereas many councilors also had worked as neighborhood operatives before rising to elected office. The non-elected activists we surveyed, meanwhile, work directly as political operatives for councilors. We therefore believe that both elected councilors and their non-elected operatives should be considered local brokers. Surveying them gives us important insights into their preferences and behaviors.
The major difficulty involved in surveying brokers involves how to generate a representative sample. Previous researchers working in Argentina, such as Auyero and Levitsky, have generated valuable insights into the political function and behaviors of brokers. Yet it is difficult to know how results from these convenience samples may or may not extend to the many tens of thousands of political operatives who comprise the population of interest. Generating a probability sample of these operatives is challenging, however, because a readymade sampling frame – that is, a list of brokers from which one could draw a random sample – does not exist.
In nineteenth-century Britain and the United States, vote buying was commonplace. Parties gave voters cash, food, alcohol, health care, poverty relief, and myriad other benefits in exchange for their votes. To gain leverage over them, parties gathered information about voters' debts, their crimes, even their infidelities.
Today, these forms of distributive politics have basically disappeared from both countries, as they have from most other advanced democracies where they once were practiced. Although money shapes politics in twenty-first-century Britain and even more so in the United States, the practices of clientelism have virtually disappeared. The details of electoral corruption in nineteenth-century Britain and America therefore have a startling feel today. Consider some examples:
• A commission on electoral bribery reported to the House of Commons in 1835 that, in Stafford, £14 were paid per vote cast in a hotly contested election. Polling proceeded over several days, and electors were called to cast their vote in alphabetical order. Those with surnames beginning with A's and B's didn't get much for their votes, “but if the polling lasted two days, the names which began with an S or a W were of the greatest value.” “At Leicester,” also in 1835, “as soon as the canvass began public houses were opened by each party in the various villages near the borough. The voters were collected as soon as possible, generally locked up until the polling, and according to an election agent, [they were] ‘pretty well corned.’”[…]