Democracy and Authenticity: Toward a Theory of Public Justification

Democracy and Authenticity: Toward a Theory of Public Justification

by Howard H. Schweber


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In Democracy and Authenticity Professor Howard Schweber examines a basic problem for liberal democracies. When a political entity is characterized by a multitude of identities and values, certain constraints apply to reasons for citizens and public officials to justify coercive political actions. The author argues that justifications based on particular religious doctrines are not a proper basis for government actions that affect everyone. He then develops a concept of public justification intended to guide citizens in a liberal democracy through the work of creating policies that satisfy their responsibilities to one another.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107415393
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/06/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 446
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Howard Schweber is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 2006, he received the William T. Kiekhoffer award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He is the author of The Language of Liberal Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and The Creation of American Common Law, 1850–1880: Technology, Politics, and the Construction of Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Table of Contents

Introduction: consensus liberalism and the challenge of pluralism; Part I. The Case for Constraint: 1. Three cases for constraint: Audi, Rawls, and Larmore; 2. Subjective standards and the problem of deliberative perfectionism; 3. Liberalism and the problem of authenticity; 4. Further reflections on authenticity; 5. The scope of constraint; Part II. Responding to the Case for Inclusion: 6. Arguments from consequences: pluralism and the role of culture; 7. The arguments from consequences: agnostic democracy and republican virtue; 8. Fairness as equality; 9. Fairness as recognition; 10. The argument from epistemology: claims of equivalence; 11. Empiricism and public justification; 12. Toward a theory of public justification.

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