John Dewey – Democracy and Education

My life has been a rebellion against traditional education. I have zig zagged between periods where I was overwhelmed by a desire to make a meaningful difference in the world and others where I simply wanted to study forever. University was never the right place for me because its assignments never aligned with my goals.... Continue Reading →

Episode 22: G. John Ikenberry

Democracy is often imagined at its purest at a micro level. Town hall meetings are sometimes imagined as a simpler form of democratic governance, so international relations can feel as though it is miles away from democracy. Andy yet, it is the international liberal order which has brought about the vast proliferation of democracy around... Continue Reading →

Chantal Mouffe – On the Political

Condescension toward political polarization begins from a position of privilege. It requires an expectation of inclusion within the political process. Elites assume polarization is a problem with a simple cure. But the reality is it is a symptom of deeper systemic problems without simple solutions. Polarization is a manifestation of the politics of exclusion. It... Continue Reading →

E.B. White – On Democracy

My kids know E.B. White as the author of Charlotte’s Web. Both of my kids were expected to read this classic on their own. Some books are written for children to read rather than their parents to read to them. I held off reading The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham until... Continue Reading →

Chantal Mouffe – The Democratic Paradox

A paradox is distinct from a contradiction. Sometimes the two ideas are confused. They are used interchangeably in ways which remove the impact of the concept of paradox. It is true ‘paradox’ feels a bit more exotic than the more pedantic ‘contradiction.’ But this is no reason to distort its meaning. A contradiction is where... Continue Reading →

Robert Dahl – Polyarchy

The United States faces a crisis of political identity. Many have found purpose in a redefinition of the American political constitution as a democracy. Indeed, the United States has gone beyond its borders to promote democracy around the world. But there is an internal tension among its citizens as to whether the United States embodies... Continue Reading →

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