Introduction -- Does political extremism play a positive role in American democracy? Extremism and polarization in America spring from a complex confluence of cultural, discursive, and political dynamics / Lumen Learning ; American politics benefit from the energy and intensity of extremism / Travor Whitney ; Extremism is difficult to define and difficult to restrict without curtailing freedom of expression in general / Courney Radsch ; Democracy should be oriented toward reasoned deliberation and consensus, not conflict and extremism / Robert E. Ferrell and Joe Old ; Electoral layer of democracy lends itself to extremist politics, which threatens the governing layer of democracy / Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson -- Do political parties promote extremism? Political parties in the United States play a major role in framing key political issues and structuring public opinion / Delia Baldassarri and Andrew Gelman ; Party-based political gridlock interferes with rational dialogue on key issues / Jack Zhou ; A diverse society like the United States needs more than two political parties / Kristin Eberhard ; Political extremism is an ingrained part of the American political system / Michael Atkinson and Daniel Béland ; Strong and stable political parties are essential to the health of American democracy / Richard H. Pildes ; Political parties guard against the risks of popular democratic governance / Democracy Web -- Contemporary news media environment raises questions about how networks use extreme rhetoric to attract audiences / Alex Slack ; Media diversification has led to a new business model where sources compete for the loyalty of small, ideologically defined demographics / Shelley Hepworth ; History of Fox News illustrates how and why the contemporary media landscape came to embrace ideologically structured coverage / David Folkenflik ; Media outlets are focused oni attracting attention, not informing the public / Ben Gerow ; Extremism and demagoguery emerge from social dynamics that have little to do with media coverage / Larry Diamond ; Media is beholden to the political forces at play / Indira Lakshmanan -- Has the Internet and its growing role in society contributed to political extremism? Power of social media and the Internet has created opportunities and perils for society / Clay Shirky ; Rapid, 24/7 news cycle made possible by modern media technology has diminished the depth and quality of public discourse / Ben Harack ; Social media and the Internet have failed to mitigate persistent class-based gaps in political participation / Marc Hooghe, Jennifer Oser, and Sofie Marien ; Confirmation bias threatens the potential benefits of a diverse media environment / Martin Maximino ; Citizens who consume more media are more politically engaged / John Wihbey ; Social media offers new tools for political engagement / Deana A. Rohlinger.
"The 2016 presidential election brought to light the increasingly polarized nature of American politics. What brought about this political extremism, and can anything be done to curb it? This volume helps to define political extremism, explores the ways in which extremism manifests itself, including hate speech and domestic terrorism, and explains theories about how it can be counteracted. With partisanship in the United States showing no sign of decline without significant intervention, it is more essential than ever to try to understand what brought about this political division"-- iPage.