Ersatz Democracy

The surge in Iraq is working, we’re told. There is less violence; there is an elected government. Never mind that the Iraqi police include thugs, torturers, and murderers. The United States’ FBI is working on it, helping train a special unit to fight corruption and to develop respect for the rule of law. Good luck.… Continue reading Ersatz Democracy

What Kind of Democrats are Obama and Clinton?

Robert Gooding-Williams has an interesting post on the new Gender, Race, and Philosophy blog. He makes a good case that candidate Clinton is a democrat in the old elite style, while candidate Obama is a deliberative democratic. I’d love it if the latter were true. Whether it is so will be seen in practice, by… Continue reading What Kind of Democrats are Obama and Clinton?

Diversifying Media Ownership

A coalition of citizens’ groups, including the National Organization for Women and Consumers Union, is asking people to write to their members of Congress in a campaign to “stop big media.”  I know leaders of many of these organizations and can attest that they’re doing good work. Their draft letter is as follows: I am… Continue reading Diversifying Media Ownership

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… Continue reading Democracy and Higher Ed

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Deliberation & Social Justice

I’m in Portsmouth, NH, for a few days, meeting with a group convened by the University of New Hampshire. Among us are professors, theorists, and practitioners of deliberative democracy. Most everyone here is also deeply concerned about diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice. I sense a bit of tension between concern for democracy and concern for… Continue reading Deliberation & Social Justice

Does policy need democracy?

A friend told me this morning that when he was in graduate school in public policy he mentioned to his advisor that he might opt for the concentration in public policy and democracy. His advisor advised him: “Don’t bother.” “Is that because the school’s offerings in democracy were lame?” I asked. “Or because the idea… Continue reading Does policy need democracy?

Vanishing Neo-Liberals?

David Brooks is stealing my material — kind of. In a column titled, The Vanishing Neoliberal, Brooks argues that the good old days of the sharp-thinking neoliberal are vanishing in return for the bad old days of old liberalism. Oh, woe the demise of the neoliberals who, Brooks writes, “were liberal but not too liberal.… Continue reading Vanishing Neo-Liberals?

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