The Idea of Democracy in the Modern Era by Ralph Ketcham | 9780700613342 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Idea of Democracy in the Modern Era

The Idea of Democracy in the Modern Era

by Ralph Ketcham
     
 

ISBN-10: 070061334X

ISBN-13: 9780700613342

Pub. Date: 09/28/2004

Publisher: University Press of Kansas

Although the last half of the twentieth century has been called the Age of Democracy, the twenty-first has already demonstrated the fragility of its apparent triumph as the dominant form of government throughout the world.

Reassessing the fate of democracy for our time, distinguished political theorist Ralph Ketcham traces the evolution of this idea over the course

Overview

Although the last half of the twentieth century has been called the Age of Democracy, the twenty-first has already demonstrated the fragility of its apparent triumph as the dominant form of government throughout the world.

Reassessing the fate of democracy for our time, distinguished political theorist Ralph Ketcham traces the evolution of this idea over the course of four hundred years. He traces democracy's bumpy ride in a book that is both an exercise in the history of ideas and an explication of democratic theory.

Ketcham examines the rationales for democratic government, identifies the fault lines that separate democracy from good government, and suggests ways to strengthen it in order to meet future challenges. Drawing on an encyclopedic command of history and politics, he examines the rationales that have been offered for democratic government over the course of four manifestations of modernity that he identifies in the Western and East Asian world since 1600.

Ketcham first considers the fundamental axioms established by theorists of the Enlightenment-Bacon, Locke, Jefferson-and reflected in America's founding, then moves on to the mostly post-Darwinian critiques by Bentham, Veblen, Dewey, and others that produced theories of the liberal corporate state. He explains late-nineteenth-century Asian responses to democracy as the third manifestation, grounded in Confucian respect for communal and hierarchical norms, followed by late-twentieth-century postmodernist thought that views democratic states as oppressive and seeks to empower marginalized groups.

Ketcham critiques the first, second, and fourth modernity rationales for democracy and suggests that the Asian approach may represent a reconciliation of ancient wisdom and modern science better suited to today's world. He advocates a reorientation of democracy that de-emphasizes group or identity politics and restores the wholeness of the civic community, proposing a return to the Jeffersonian universalism-that which informed the founding of the United States-if democracy is to flourish in a fifth manifestation.

The Idea of Democracy in the Modern Era is an erudite, interdisciplinary work of great breadth and complexity that looks to the past in order to reframe the future. With its global overview and comparative insights, it will stimulate discussion of how democracy can survive-and thrive-in the coming era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700613342
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Prospects for Government in 1989

-"The end of History?"

-Self-Government and Good Government

2. Aristotelian and Confucian Insights

-Relationships and the Political as Sacred

-The Qualifications of Rulers

-Just Government

3. Tensions of Citizenship: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

-Higher Law, Holy Books, and Prophets

-Religion, Conscience, and the Purpose of Government

4. The First Era of Modern Thought, ca. 1600-1750

-Bacon, Descartes, and "Science in the Modern World"

-Hobbes, Locke, and Modern Politics

-The "Ancients" and a Republican Counterpoint

5. The United States and First Modernity Democracy

-The Rationale of the American Revolution

-Federalists, Antifederalists, and the Philosophy of the Constitution

-The Jeffersonian Synthesis

6. The Second Modernity: From Bentham to Dewey

-Utilitarianism and Individuality in Bentham and J.S. Mill

-Comte, Positivism, and the Era of Science

-Post-Darwin Social Science: Veblen, Sumner, and Dewey

-Traditionalism Response: Thomas Carlyle and Others

-Second Modernity Law and Politics: Oliver Wendell Holmes and Harold Laski

-Social Science and the Democratic Process: Dewey, the Webbs, and Arthur Bentley

7. Liberal Democracy in the Twentieth Century

-Progressivism, the New Deal, and the Liberal Corporate State

-British Socialism, the Great Society, and the Vital Center

-Liberal Democracy as Twentieth-Century Orthodoxy

-Democratic Stagflation and the Thatcher-Reagon Challenge

-The Problematic Liberal Corporate State in 2000

8. Second Modernity Thought in Japan and China

-China and the First Modernity

-Fukuzawa Yukichi, Nishi Amane, and Western Thought in Meiji Japan

-Yan Fu and Social Dawinism in China

-Liang Qichao, New Citizens, and the "Wealth and Power" of the Chinese State

-Democracy in Japan and China

9. An Asian Third Modernity

-Sun Yatsen and "Nationalism, Democracy and Livelihood" in China

-Crosscurrents: Hu Shi, Chiange Kaishek, Liu Shaoqi, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Tiananment

-Modern Democracy in Japan and East Asia

-Japanese and Chinese Reactions to Rabindranath Tagore

-A Third Modernity Rationale for Democracy in East Asia

10. Postmodernism and a Fourth Modernity Democracy

-Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault: "Supermodernism"

-Antifoundationalism and Deconstruction: "Lyotard and Derrida

-Oppression, Marginality, and the Politics of Identity

-Postmodern Democracy

11. Comparing Rationales for Democracy

-Transcendental and Empirical Critiques of Baconian Modernity

-Second Modernity Political Evolution in the United States

-The Critique of Second Modernity Liberalism

-The Critique of Postmodernism

12. The Idea of Democracy in the Third Millennium

-Varieties of Contemporary Political Thinking

-The Idea of Human Nature Revisited

-Complex Human Nature and Higher Law

-Democratic Decisionmaking, Leadership, and Citizenship

-A Post-Postmodern Rationale for Democracy

Notes

Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >