The defect, Sandel maintains, lies in the impoverished vision of citizenship and community shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. American politics has lost its civic voice, leaving both liberals and conservatives unable to inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that self-government requires.
In search of a public philosophy adequate to our time, Sandel ranges across the American political experience, recalling the arguments of Jefferson and Hamilton, Lincoln and Douglas, Holmes and Brandeis, FDR and Reagan. He relates epic debates over slavery and industrial capitalism to contemporary controversies over the welfare state, religion, abortion, gay rights, and hate speech. Democracy's Discontent provides a new interpretation of the American political and constitutional tradition that offers hope of rejuvenating our civic life.
Michael J. Sandel is Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University.
Preface PART I: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PROCEDURAL REPUBLIC 1. The Public Philosophy of Contemporary Liberalism 2. Rights and the Neutral State 3. Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech 4. Privacy Rights and Family Law PART II: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CITIZENSHIP 5. Economics and Virtue in the Early Republic 6. Free Labor versus Wage Labor 7. Community, Self-Government, and Progressive Reform 8. Liberalism and the Keynesian Revolution 9. The Triumph and Travail of the Procedural Republic Conclusion: In Search of a Public Philosophy Notes Index