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The State of Democratic Theory
Ian Shapiro

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"Shapiro delivers what the title suggests: a survey of the issues most discussed by political theorists and the main positions taken, with plenty of references to the literature for those who wish to pursue the subject further. But he succeeds in doing much more than this. If, as he suggests, the point of democracy is to strengthen the position of the dispossessed and vulnerable, there is a lot wrong not only with the practice of democracy but with much of the theorizing about it. Indeed, Shapiro argues that the most popular nostrums currently put forward by theorists would make matters worse. Even those familiar with the literature discussed will be intrigued and challenged by Shapiro's analysis."--Brian Barry, Columbia University

"This book is smart, erudite, but accessible. The examples Shapiro draws on to illustrate his points--South Africa, the Middle East, U.S. court cases--give the argument immediacy and relevance. It makes a valuable contribution to political theory, and should encourage political theorists to think about real-life politics"--Nancy Hirschmann, University of Pennsylvania

"Shapiro articulates an incisive critique of deliberative theory--the reigning orthodoxy in contemporary normative theorizing about democracy--in a way that will be accessible to an unusually broad audience of political theorists and social scientists, students as well as scholars."--Clarissa Rile Hayward, Ohio State University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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