#Republic by Cass R. Sunstein
Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media

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Would we as a society be happy with such a trade-off? These questions remain unexplored in #Republic. That said, #Republic is an excellent assessment of how social psychology, technology, and politics are colliding to produce the extreme and polarized discourse that has come to dominate our contemporary political environment.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Nudge and The World According to Star Wars, a revealing account of how today's Internet threatens democracy--and what can be done about it

As the Internet grows more sophisticated, it is creating new threats to democracy. Social media companies such as Facebook can sort us ever more efficiently into groups of the like-minded, creating echo chambers that amplify our views. It's no accident that on some occasions, people of different political views cannot even understand each other. It's also no surprise that terrorist groups have been able to exploit social media to deadly effect.

Welcome to the age of #Republic.

In this revealing book, Cass Sunstein, the New York Times bestselling author of Nudge and The World According to Star Wars, shows how today's Internet is driving political fragmentation, polarization, and even extremism--and what can be done about it.

Thoroughly rethinking the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet, Sunstein describes how the online world creates "cybercascades," exploits "confirmation bias," and assists "polarization entrepreneurs." And he explains why online fragmentation endangers the shared conversations, experiences, and understandings that are the lifeblood of democracy.

In response, Sunstein proposes practical and legal changes to make the Internet friendlier to democratic deliberation. These changes would get us out of our information cocoons by increasing the frequency of unchosen, unplanned encounters and exposing us to people, places, things, and ideas that we would never have picked for our Twitter feed.

#Republic need not be an ironic term. As Sunstein shows, it can be a rallying cry for the kind of democracy that citizens of diverse societies most need.

 

About Cass R. Sunstein

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Cass R. Sunstein is the nation’s most-cited legal scholar who, for the past fifteen years, also has been at the forefront of behavioral economics. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. His book, Nudge, coauthored with Richard Thaler, was a national bestseller.
 
Published March 7, 2017 by Princeton University Press. 325 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Benjamin Knoll on Apr 25 2017

Would we as a society be happy with such a trade-off? These questions remain unexplored in #Republic. That said, #Republic is an excellent assessment of how social psychology, technology, and politics are colliding to produce the extreme and polarized discourse that has come to dominate our contemporary political environment.

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