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Strong Democracy

Participatory Politics for a New Age, Twentieth-Anniversary Edition, With a New Preface

Benjamin R. Barber (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 356 pages
ISBN: 9780520242333
February 2004
$34.95, £28.00
Since its appearance twenty years ago, Benjamin R. Barber's Strong Democracy has been one of the primary standards against which political science thinking and writing is measured. Defined as the participation of all of the people in at least some aspects of self-government at least some of the time, Strong Democracy offers liberal society a new way of thinking about and of practicing democracy. Contrary to the commonly held view that an excess of democracy can undo liberal institutions, Barber argues that an excess of liberalism has undermined our democratic institutions and brought about the set of crises we still find ourselves struggling against: cynicism about voting, alienation, privatization, and the growing paralysis of public institutions. In a new preface Barber looks at the past twenty years and restates his argument, which seems, sadly, more pressing than ever.
Preface to the Twentieth Anniversary Edition
Preface to the 1990 Edition
Preface to the 1984 Edition

Part I. Thin Democracy: The Argument Against Liberalism
1. Thin Democracy: Politics as Zookeeping
2. The Preconceptual Frame: Newtonian Politics
3. The Epistemological Frame: Cartesian Politics
4. The Psychological Frame: Apolitical Man
5. Thin Democracy in the Twentieth Century: The Potential for Pathology

Part II. Strong Democracy: The Argument for Citizenship
6. Strong Democracy: Politics as a Way of Living
7. A Conceptual Frame: Politics in the Participatory Mode
8. Citizenship and Participation: Politics as Epistemology
9. Citizenship and Community: Politics as Social Being
10. The Real Present: Institutionalizing Strong Democracy in the Modern World

Benjamin R. Barber is Kekst Professor of Civil Society at the University of Maryland and Director of the New York office of The Democracy Collaborative. He is the author of Fear's Empire: Terrorism, War and Democracy (2003) and Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World (1995).
"One of the chosen few: an enduring contribution to democratic thought."—Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

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