The Crisis of American Democracy: Essays on a Failing Institution

Leland Harper (Ed.)

by Leland Harper (Siena Heights University), Tanya Randle (St. Ambrose University), Ellen Maccarone (Gonzaga University), Jennifer Kling (University of Colorado – Colorado Springs), Isidoro Talavera (Franklin University), John Park (University of California – Sacramento), Jay Carlson (Loyola University Chicago), Derrick Darby (Rutgers University), Colin J. Lewis (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)

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The essays in “The Crisis of American Democracy: Essays on a Failing Institution” seek to answer central questions about American democracy, such as: if American democracy is failing, what are the causes of this failure? What are the consequences? And what can be done to fix it? These standalone essays present diverse perspectives on some of the impediments to achieving a true democracy in the present-day United States of America, as well as prescriptions for overcoming these obstacles. Leading academics from across North America, contribute their perspectives on this timely debate.

Foreword: The Future of American Democracy
David Rondel

Leland Harper
Siena Heights University

Chapter 1 Failing to Disagree: Why Democracy Needs Genuine Disagreement
Tanya Randle
St. Ambrose University

Chapter 2 A Remedial Situation: The Epistemology of Political Disagreement in the Context of American Politics
Jay Carlson
Loyola University Chicago

Chapter 3 Listen Up! An Account of an Ethical Practice of Listening
Ellen M. Maccarone
Gonzaga University

Chapter 4 Democracy Born of Struggle
Derrick Darby
Rutgers University

Chapter 5 The Semantic Foundations of White Fragility and the Consequences for Justice
Jennifer Kling
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
Leland Harper
Siena Heights University

Chapter 6 Why Meritocratic Democracy is Better than Democracy
John J. Park
University of California – Sacramento

Chapter 7 Justified Revolution in Contemporary American Democracy: A Confucian-Inspired Account
Colin J. Lewis and Jennifer Kling
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

Chapter 8 The Impossibility of a Democratic Society: A Call for Critical Thinking in a Time of Crisis
Isidoro Talavera
Franklin University

About the Authors


Leland Harper is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Siena Heights University. His research focuses on philosophy of religion, particularly issues in the epistemic status of religious experience, and on philosophy of race, particularly issues in racism, racial solidarity and justice. He is the author of “Multiverse Deism: Shifting Perspectives of God and the World” (Lexington, 2020) and co-author of the forthcoming book with Dr. Jennifer Kling in which they address the intersections of race, language, and justice. He is also author of articles that have appeared in “Res Philosophica”, “Forum Philosophicum”, and “The International Journal of Philosophy and Theology”. He is the organizer of the Great Lakes Philosophy Conference, an annual international ethics conference held in Adrian, Michigan.

Government, America, Contemporary, Commentary, Critical, Political, Analytic, Philosophy

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

The Crisis of American Democracy: Essays on a Failing Institution





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Publication date

March 2022