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Tabatha Abu El-Haj

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Changing The People: Legal Regulation And American Democracy, Tabatha Abu El-Haj Dec 2010

Changing The People: Legal Regulation And American Democracy, Tabatha Abu El-Haj

Tabatha Abu El-Haj

The world in which we live, a world in which law pervades the practice of democratic politics – from advance regulation of public assemblies to detailed rules governing elections – is the product of a particular period of American history. Between 1880 and 1930, states and municipalities increased governmental controls over the full range of nineteenth-century avenues for democratic participation. Prior to this legal transformation, the practice of democratic politics in the United States was less structured by law and more autonomous from formal state institutions than it is today. Exposing this history challenges two core assumptions driving the work of contemporary ...