Democracy's Place

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One of our nation's most prolific and widely discussed political theorists, Ian Shapiro speaks with a distinctive voice. His work is Deweyan in its inspiration, cosmopolitan in its concerns, and practical in its referents. In this book, he provides his first extended statement on contemporary democratic politics.Democracy's Place includes seven essays in which Shapiro carefully integrates the theoretical and the applied. Four deal principally with democratic theory and its link to problems of social justice; the other three detail applications in the United States, the postcommunist world, and the author's native South Africa. All advance a view of democratic politics which rests on principled, yet nuanced, suspicion of hierarchical social arrangements and of political blueprints. Shapiro's writing is unified as well by a pervasive concern with the relations between the requirements of democracy and those of social justice. These themes, substantiated by complex yet accessible arguments, offer a constructive democratic perspective on contemporary debates about liberalism, communitarianism, and distributive justice.