We have reached this conclusion as members of the Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy formed under the auspices of the 14,000-member American Political Science Association. As one of several task forces formed to enhance the public relevance of political science, our Task Force was charged to review and assess the best current scholarship about the health and functioning of U.S. democracy in a time of rising inequality. We have carefully surveyed the evidence about three important, interlinked areas of concern: citizen participation, government responsiveness, and patterns of public policy-making and their consequences. We speak for ourselves and not officially for the American Political Science Association. Our conclusions are meant to provoke discussion and debate, not only in professional circles but also in the broader public. We have done our work as experts, paying close attention to data and evidence in all of its ambiguity.1 Yet we also speak as concerned citizens of American democracy.
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