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University of Chicago Press

Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus

Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus

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From a leading political thinker, this book is both an invaluable playbook for meeting our current moment and a stirring reflection on the future of democracy itself.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated some of the strengths of our society, including the rapid development of vaccines. But the pandemic has also exposed its glaring weaknesses, such as the failure of our government to develop and quickly implement strategies for tracing and containing outbreaks as well as widespread public distrust of government prompted by often confusing and conflicting choices--to mask, or not to mask. Even worse is that over half a million deaths and the extensive economic devastation could have been avoided if the government had been prepared to undertake comprehensive, contextually-sensitive policies to stop the spread of the disease.

In Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus, leading political thinker Danielle Allen untangles the US government's COVID-19 victories and failures to offer a plan for creating a more resilient democratic polity--one that can better respond to both the present pandemic and future crises. Looking to history, Allen also identifies the challenges faced by democracies in other times that required strong government action. In an analysis spanning from ancient Greece to the Reconstruction Amendments and the present day, Allen argues for the relative effectiveness of collaborative federalism over authoritarian compulsion and for the unifying power of a common cause. But for democracy to endure, we--as participatory citizens--must commit to that cause: a just and equal social contract and support for good governance.

Author: Danielle Allen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Published: 02/16/2022
Pages: 128
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.40lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.40w x 0.50d
ISBN: 9780226815626

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 10/18/2021

About the Author
Danielle Allen is the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, where she is also the principal investigator for the Democratic Knowledge Project. Among her many books, she is the author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality and, most recently, coeditor of Difference without Domination: Pursuing Justice in Diverse Democracies, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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