Google full text of our books:


Public Freedom
Dana Villa

Paperback | 2008 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691135946
456 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400837427 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

The freedom to take part in civic life--whether in the exercise of one's right to vote or congregate and protest--has become increasingly less important to Americans than individual rights and liberties. In Public Freedom, renowned political theorist Dana Villa argues that political freedom is essential to both the preservation of constitutional government and the very substance of American democracy itself.

Through intense close readings of theorists such as Hegel, Tocqueville, Mill, Adorno, Arendt, and Foucault, Villa diagnoses the key causes of our democratic discontent and offers solutions to preserve at least some of our democratic hopes. He demonstrates how Americans' preoccupation with a market-based conception of freedom--that is, the personal freedom to choose among different material, moral, and vocational goods--has led to the gradual erosion of meaningful public participation in politics as well as diminished interest in the health of the public realm itself. Villa critically examines, among other topics, the promise and limits of civil society and associational life as sources of democratic renewal; the effects of mass media on the public arena; and the problematic but still necessary ideas of civic competence and democratic maturity.

Public Freedom is a passionate and insightful defense of political liberties at a moment in America's history when such freedoms are very much at risk.


"In his argument for a more vital and robust public square and a more capacious conception of freedom, Villa makes a substantial contribution, both to the political theory literature and to a more textured understanding of the nature of a genuinely free society."--Sheila Suess Kennedy, Law and Politics


"Public Freedom breaks new ground. Villa's stance is distinctive and compelling. He writes with confidence and authority. The book is full of subtle, important, and in some cases controversial readings of major thinkers and represents a significant move forward in Villa's own thinking, placing him into conversation with some unexpected intellectual traditions, and also disclosing some revisions to his own earlier positions. Public Freedom is an impressive and successful piece of work."--Patchen Markell, University of Chicago

"A significant contribution to the field of political theory. Public Freedom is a wide-ranging and thought-provoking inquiry into the problem of civic life as viewed by a group of important nineteenth- and twentieth-century political theorists. With its reconsideration of the relationship between public freedom and civil society, the book has done something new and it should gain a good deal of attention."--James Schmidt, Boston University

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments ix
Chapter 1: Introduction: Public Freedom Today 1
Chapter 2: Tocqueville and Civil Society 27
Chapter 3: Hegel, Tocqueville, and "Individualism" 49
Chapter 4: Tocqueville and Arendt: Public Freedom, Plurality, and the Preconditions of Liberty 85
Chapter 5: Maturity, Paternalism, and Democratic Education in J. S. Mill 108
Chapter 6: The Frankfurt School and the Public Sphere 143
Chapter 7: Genealogies of Total Domination: Arendt, Adorno, and Auschwitz 210
Chapter 8: Foucault and the Dystopian Public 255
Chapter 9: Arendt and Heidegger, Again 302
10 The "Autonomy of the Political" Reconsidered 338
Notes 355
Index 421

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Dana Villa:

Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $35.00 ISBN: 9780691135946

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Paperback  £27.95 ISBN: 9780691135946

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 7/11/2017

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share 
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Political Philosophy
    Political Science And International Relations
    More Choices