Does democracy promote excellence? Searching history, literature, and works of political theory, the contributors conclude that American democracy does indeed promote excellence despite thousands of years of political theory arguing the contrary. However, the promotion of such excellence requires one to think differently about what excellence means and how best to promote it. Religion and a strong sense of community are vital in creating this democratic excellence and are necessary to counter conservative critics who see little value in democratic practices.
Entering the twenty-first century, this question has become all the more important. Democracy is a difficult and challenging form of government that is increasingly more common than it once was. As the United States works to promote democracy throughout the world it is a timely matter to consider once again why democracy is a good thing. At the same time, Romance and Riemer remind us always to think about and ponder the ways democracy can fail us. Contributions from distinguished scholars of political science, history, and religion provide supporting evidence in a multi-disciplinary approach.
About the Author:
Joseph Romance is professor of Political Science at Drew University where he teaches American politics and political theory. He has an undergraduate degreee from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D from Rutgers University. He is co-author of A Republic of Parties? and The Challenge of Politics. His current research includes work on the American founding.
The late Neal Riemer was the Andrew V. Stout Professor of Political Philosophy at Drew University. He received his Ph.D from Harvard University and taught at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wisconsin. He published many works, including James Madison: Creating the American Constitution and Creative Breakthroughs in Politics.