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A novel defense of the moral foundations of democracy and the central role equality plays in its practice.

Wilson, James Lindley

Democratic Equality


    65,95 € / $75.00 / £58.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    Copyright year:
    To be published:
    September 2019
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    Aims and Scope

    Democracy establishes relationships of political equality, ones in which citizens equally share authority over what they do together and respect each other as equals. But in today's divided public square, democracy is challenged by political thinkers who disagree about how democratic institutions should be organized, and by antidemocratic politicians who exploit uncertainties about what democracy requires and why it matters. Democratic Equality mounts a bold and persuasive defense of democracy as a way of making collective decisions, showing how equality of authority is essential to relating equally as citizens.

    James Lindley Wilson explains why the U.S. Senate and Electoral College are urgently in need of reform, why proportional representation is not a universal requirement of democracy, how to identify racial vote dilution and gerrymandering in electoral districting, how to respond to threats to democracy posed by wealth inequality, and how judicial review could be more compatible with the democratic ideal. What emerges is an emphatic call to action to reinvigorate our ailing democracies, and a road map for widespread institutional reform.

    Democratic Equality highlights the importance of diverse forms of authority in democratic deliberation and electoral and representative processes—and demonstrates how that authority rests equally with each citizen in a democracy.


    280 pages
    General/trade;Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

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    James Lindley Wilson is assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago.


    "This book defends a pathbreaking theory of democracy as a partnership among equals. It has all the makings of a classic: commanding clarity, a devastating attack on democratic practice today, and institutional proposals that should give us some hope."—Eric Beerbohm, Harvard University

    "Wilson has written an important book that will contribute significantly to democratic theory."—Corey Brettschneider, author of The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents

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