Disenfranchising Democracy

The first wave of democratisation in the United States – the removal of property and taxpaying qualifications for the right to vote – was accompanied by the disenfranchisement of African American men, with the political actors most supportive of the former also the most insistent upon the latter. The United States is not unique in this respect: other canonical cases of democratisation also saw simultaneous expansions and restrictions of political rights, yet this pattern has never been fully detailed or explained. Through case studies of the USA, the UK, and France, the author of this book offers the first cross-national account of the relationship between democratisation and disenfranchisement. He develops a political institutional perspective to explain their co-occurrence, focusing on the politics of coalition-building and the visions of political community coalitions advance in support of their goals. Bateman sheds new light on democratisation, connecting it to the construction of citizenship and cultural identities.

David Bateman, Disenfranchising Democracy. Constructing the Electorate in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, Cambridge University Press, 2018.