Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy

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Overview

In Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy, Bradley Watson demonstrates the paradox of liberal democracy: that its cornerstone principles of equality and freedom are principles inherently directed toward undermining it. Modernity, beyond bringing definition to political equality, unleashed a whirlwind of individualism, which feeds the soul's basic impulse to rule without limitationincluding the limitation of consent. Here Watson begins his analysis of the foundations of liberalism, looking carefully and...

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Overview

In Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy, Bradley Watson demonstrates the paradox of liberal democracy: that its cornerstone principles of equality and freedom are principles inherently directed toward undermining it. Modernity, beyond bringing definition to political equality, unleashed a whirlwind of individualism, which feeds the soul's basic impulse to rule without limitationincluding the limitation of consent. Here Watson begins his analysis of the foundations of liberalism, looking carefully and critically at the moral and political philosophies that justify modern civil rights litigation. He goes on to examine the judicial manifestations of the paradox of liberal democracy, seeking to bring a broad philosophical coherence to legal decision making in the United States and Canada. Finally, Watson illuminates the extent to which this decision making is in tension with liberal democracy, and outlines proposals for reform.

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Editorial Reviews

Thomas M. J. Bateman
A persuasive addition to the literature examining the nature and history of that most complex of modern phenomena: liberal democracy. . . . Watson adds to our understanding of the depth of the current malaise.
Fr. Francis Canavan
This book comes to us on a rising tide of criticism of liberalism as the theoretical foundation of democratic government. . . . It is an excellent contribution to an ongoing and crucially important debate in contemporary democratic theory.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739100387
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Bradley C. S. Watson is Associate Professor of Political Science and Fellow in Politics and Culture at the Center for Economic and Policy Education at Saint Vincent College.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 The Paradox of Liberal Democracy Chapter 3 The Canadian Experience Chapter 4 The American Experience Chapter 5 Individuality and Modern Thought Chapter 6 Obstacles to Reform in the United States Chapter 7 The Times of Restoration: Prospects for Reform Chapter 8 Coda Chapter 9 Works Cited Chapter 10 Cases Cited Chapter 11 Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2001

    This book will change the political universe as we know it

    The Question is not how good Watson's book is, but rather the question should be 'why haven't you read it yet?' This book embodies all that is good and pure about both political and philosophical analysis. Through a tour de force of modern philosophy, Watson ingeniously explains the philosophical underpinnings of modern American thought, i.e. 'self- expressive' individualism. If this were not enough, Watson takes this abstract philosophical disposition and applies it to practical America; particularly the American judicial system. To give his political manifestio a twist that only he gould provide, Watson even goes as far as to compare the modern Canadian judicial system, which has essentially bent to the will of modern American legal activism, to prove his point (his point being that 'self- expressive' individualism, the greatest threat to democracy, necessarily sprouts from democracy itself. Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy is truly a work of art for anyone who wishes to exercise thier brain beyond Oprah's book of the month club. And for all you kids out there, don't read Harry Potter, read Brad Watson! If you do not indulge yourself in such a truly stimulating book (that works on both the simple- minded moron and intellectual who thinks that they are smart levels) you have truly wasted at least some small portion of your existance.

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