Democracy and Higher Ed

Just back from a very intense three-day meeting on higher ed and democracy.  We — theorists and convenors of deliberative democracy — were brainstorming a network that would focus the academy’s attention on deliberative democracy.  To turn a phrase of the Kettering Foundation, “What kind of higher education does a public need in order for democracy to flourish?”  By democracy most everyone meant more than the apparatus of voting; we meant the kinds of participation in which members of a political community could have a hand in shaping their common world.  It is so easy to get absorbed in the usual way in which politics is conceived — as a matter of what governments do, not what publics do — that it’s easy to think of democracy as something “over there,” not right here in the ways in which we are always already involved in making our common world.

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Categorized as democracy

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.