Democracy and Excellence: Concord or Conflict? (Hardback)
  • Democracy and Excellence: Concord or Conflict? (Hardback)
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Democracy and Excellence: Concord or Conflict? (Hardback)

(editor), (editor), (foreword)
£50.00
Hardback 180 Pages / Published: 30/08/2005
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Does democracy promote excellence? Searching history, literature, and works of political theory, the contributors conclude that American democracy does indeed promote excellence despite thousands of years of political theory arguing the contrary. However, the promotion of such excellence requires one to think differently about what excellence means and how best to promote it. Religion and a strong sense of community are vital in creating this democratic excellence and are necessary to counter conservative critics who see little value in democratic practices. Entering the twenty-first century, this question has become all the more important. Democracy is a difficult and challenging form of government that is increasingly more common than it once was. As the United States works to promote democracy throughout the world it is a timely matter to consider once again why democracy is a good thing. At the same time, Romance and Riemer remind us always to think about and ponder the ways democracy can fail us. Contributions from distinguished scholars of political science, history, and religion provide supporting evidence in a multi-disciplinary approach.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780275976422
Number of pages: 180
Weight: 417 g
Dimensions: 237 x 161 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Neal Riemer was a prolific scholar who combined interests in democratic theory, religion, and ethics. Published after Riemer's death in 2001, this collection of essays by some of the top names in this field addresses the tension between democracy and excellence. The spirit of Tocqueville animates many of them, and Riemer, like Tocqueville himself, expresses reasonable optimism that with constant effort, these values may be reconciled. Glenn Tinder finds in Thucydides the lesson that although democracy can exist without excellence, excellence requires the existence of democracy. For Edward Long, the variety of religious practice renders it impossible objectively to define excellence in religion. Wilson Carey McWilliams explores the tension between democracy and excellence in Mark Twain's work. Patrick Deneen suggests that the ordinary virtues of democratic citizenship are more extraordinary than acts of valor that typically garner praise. Brett Gary resurrects the ideal of a competent democratic public that is not simply a victim of manipulation. Jeffrey Becker considers Franklin Roosevelt as an individual who embodied both of the values in question. Finally, Joseph Romance suggests that perhaps democracy should promote those homely virtues of toleration and acceptance over excellence, the lure of which may lead one astray. Highly recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduates and higher." - Choice
"Reimer has been a leading proponent of reintroducing and revivifying the central role of democratic theory in American political discourse. His The Revival of Democratic Theory of 1962 is now a classic of its kind. In these eight articles contributors work through Reimer's ideas, including how one can define and achieve excellence in an egalitarian society. Their topics include reconciling democracy and excellence, Thucydides on democracy and chaos, equality and excellence in American religion, Mark Twain's political thought, ordinary virtue, the competent public, Tocqueville and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the dangerous allure of excellence." - Reference & Research Book News

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