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Democracy and the Foreigner
Bonnie Honig

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


"Bonnie Honig is a political thinker who doesn't define problems away but rather zeroes in on what problems reveal. Instead of asking 'What are we to do about foreigners?' she asks 'What unacknowledged work is the idea of the foreigner doing for us? And who is this us?' In investigating why founders (or re-founders) are so often foreigners, she has written a wonderfully timely and thought-provoking book."--Barbara E. Johnson, Harvard University, author of The Feminist Difference

"In this brilliant and original work, Bonnie Honig shows how--from the Biblical Book of Ruth and its recent commentators through Freud, Rousseau, and contemporary U.S. political thinkers to Shane and The Wizard of Oz--the alien is recuperated for a national project that he or she also unsettles. A major contribution to democratic theory, and always engaged with concrete particulars, Democracy and the Foreigner is alive with insight on every page."--Michael Rogin, University of California, Berkeley

"Honig perceptively identifies a topic--the diverse political uses of concepts and depictions of 'foreignness'--that is both topical and of enduring importance, yet rarely explored so explicitly and evocatively. Her work is stimulating and valuable even for those of us, perhaps most of all for those of us, with whom she disagrees."--Rogers M. Smith, Alfred Cowles Professor of Government, Yale University

"Extremely interesting, well written, and imaginative. Surely there are few books that integrate into their argument Bernard Williams, the Book of Ruth, and the future of the nation-state in an increasingly fluid world. Honig raises vital questions about the tension between state-oriented 'localism' and more transnational 'cosmopolitanism.'"--Sanford Levinson, University of Texas, Austin

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File created: 4/17/2014

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