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The Real World of Democratic Theory
Ian Shapiro

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"Ian Shapiro is one of our best political philosophers. This book shows why, combining incisive analyses of canonical figures and concepts with thoughtful moral judgments to illuminate difficult political situations. Few other people combine such breadth and depth. Perhaps no one will agree with everything in these essays, but everyone will learn from them."--Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University

"This is essential reading for understanding the development of democratic governments around the world since the Cold War. Shapiro's account of the South African transition from apartheid to democracy, and its implications for negotiations in the Middle East and Northern Ireland, is particularly incisive. Written in a highly accessible style, this book will appeal to general readers as well as academics and students."--Richard J. Goldstone, former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

"Ian Shapiro's title captures the great virtue of his latest book: he has, brilliantly and usefully, related democratic theory, an academic field in which he towers, to the real world of partisanship, public opinion polls, debates over taxes and abortion, and international diplomacy. In lucid, straightforward, jargon-free prose, he puts the 'politics' into political science, without compromising on intellectual rigor and the highest standards of empirical discipline."--Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, and author of The Great Experiment: Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation

"This book covers a range of absolutely central topics for contemporary democratic theory and practice. I don't know of any other political theorist with Ian Shapiro's breadth of expertise who is as willing to engage with the practical messiness of actual political argument."--David Runciman, University of Cambridge

"Ian Shapiro has constructed the most insightful, grounded, and philosophically defensible democratic theory available. This excellent work makes important contributions to the literature on democracy and political science."--Lisa Ellis, Texas A&M University

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File created: 4/17/2014

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