In this volume of timely essays, Max O. Stephenson Jr. offers unique insight into the state of politics and policymaking in the United States. Covering the period 2010-2018, his essays chronicle a growing crisis in American governance with many of the nation’s professed values and principles increasingly under attack—including the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the ability of a share of its citizens otherwise eligible to vote to exercise their right to do so. But Stephenson does more than sound a warning cry. He urges all Americans to reclaim self-governance and democracy by embracing the central values and core purposes underpinning the United States. Max O. Stephenson Jr. is Professor of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech where he also directs the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG).Book Details
In 2013 the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG) launched the online essay series “RE: Reflections and Explorations” for Virginia Tech graduate students to share articles and commentaries about their evolving research, interests, and experiences on topics relevant to the VTIPG mission. The “RE: Reflections and Explorations” book series features essays from the online platform selected and edited by VTIPG Director Max Stephenson Jr. and affiliated research faculty member Lyusyena Kirakosyan.
This volume, the second in the “RE: Reflections and Explorations” series, treats dimensions of the broader trends of policy and governance at all scales of analysis, examining the elemental issue of democratic agency and obstacles to its exercise, the difficulties inherent for self-governance in inter-governmental cooperation and in racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and the antagonisms resulting from rapid widespread economic, social, and technological shifts. These chapters investigate the dynamics of political change and movements in a time when the prevailing social imaginary makes such action, always difficult, especially tough to achieve.
The book is divided into seven sections, each of which addresses a discrete topical concern. In one form or another, however, the chapters all address the consequences for Western liberalism of its embrace of neoliberalism’s elevation of capitalism to a governing role and its view of freedom as atomistic individualism. By illuminating deeper political trends in the United States, the authors both give hope and signal the alarm that social change is necessary if self-governance is to be preserved.Book Details