Gambling, Freedom and Democracy

Gambling, Freedom and Democracy

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As a consequence of the rapid proliferation of commercial gambling in Western-style democracies, governments and communities are encountering a complex array of economic, social and cultural harms associated with this expansion. This book focuses specifically on harms to democratic systems. It examines how people with key roles in democratic structures are vulnerable to subtle influence from the burgeoning profits of gambling. It focuses particularly on the Western-style democracies of North America, Europe and Australasia. It argues that governments have a duty of care to protect their own democratic processes from subtle degradations and that independence from the gambling industries needs to be proactively built into public sector structures and processes. It outlines how a public health approach, harm minimisation strategies and international conventions can provide the base for protecting the integrity of democratic systems.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 236 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12.7mm | 454g
  • Routledge
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 3 Tables, black and white; 4 Illustrations, black and white
  • 0415541301
  • 9780415541305
  • 2,890,545

Table of contents

1. Introduction. Features of Extraction. Gambling in a Political Ecology 2. Subtle Degradation. Internal Threats and Moral Jeopardy. Individual Examples of Moral Jeopardy. Effects of Degradation 3. Governments. Patterns of Proliferation. Roles within Government. Role Conflict. A Culture of Permissiveness 4. Communities. Community Harms. Community Benefits. Risks from Community Benefit Funding. Dimensions of Moral Jeopardy. Moral Jeopardy and Democracy 5. Freedom in the Media. Becoming a 'Real City'. Three Freedoms. Points of Resistance 6. Gambling Advertising. Functions of Gambling Advertising. Psychological Explanations. Rhetorical Explanations. Conclusion 7. Researchers. The Researcher's Dilemma. Researcher-Industry Relationships. Inconvenient Research 8. Helping Professionals on the Frontier. Problem Gambling Helping Organizations. Inhabitants of Frontier Towns. Industrial Relations. From Frontier to Settlement 9. Protecting Independence. Minimising Harm to Democratic Systems. Protective Measures. The Willingness to Protect 10. Strategies for Change: Three Ways Ahead. Gambling and Harm Minimisation. Guidelines for Assessing Moral Jeopardy. Setting International Benchmark Standards. Monitoring Future Strategies 11. Facing the Future. Visioning the Future. Future Moral Jeopardy
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Review quote

Peter Adams presents a compelling argument about the way gambling has influenced political processes, and how it may be damaging crucial democratic institutions. His argument is all the more compelling because it is informed by the author's substantial experience in the area, as clinical psychologist, philosopher, and policy advisor. But the importance of his argument goes well beyond the impact of gambling, and shows how commercial imperatives irrevocably alter social institutions, and may damage the public good at a multitude of levels. Gambling is here to stay, but its effects are barely understood. This book makes many of them clear for the first time.

- Dr. Charles Livingstone, La Trobe University, Melbourne
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About Peter J. Adams

Dr Adams' practice as a clinical psychologist led him into a range of new initiatives in violence, mental health and addiction services. He is employed as associate professor at the University of Auckland where he has set up a new department with a focus on community development and a Centre for Gambling Studies.
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