Alison Kadlec draws out the critical power of Dewey's pragmatism, a pragmatism that questions at every turn vested interests, the status quo, entrenched bureaucracies, social inequality, and all other forces that lent weight to Lippmann's complaint that the public was little more than a phantom. Kadlec takes to task those critics who thought that Dewey had nothing concrete to say about power and politics. Beautifully written, this book shows how Dewey's focus on developing social intelligence and attending to live experience paved the way for a conception of democratic politics that we could use now more than ever. (Noelle McAfee, University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Kadlec has done a great service by bridging gaps between critical theory, pragmatism, and deliberative democracy, bringing these traditions into fruitful conversation. Linking practice together with theory, quality scholarship with political experience, she offers new design principles for deliberative forums. Everyone seeking to understand democratic ideas and practices should read this book. It is a major achievement. (William Caspary, New York University, Gallatin School)
This book by Alison Kadlec is a welcome addition to the scholarship on American philosopher John Dewey and pragmatism. . . . A worthwhile book. (Political Studies Review
Alison Kadlec's splendid work,Dewey's Critical Pragmatism
, makes a major contribution to understanding John Dewey as an extremely important democratic theorist and political activist who has much to contribute to critical studies, deliberative democracy, and the larger work of building vital democratic societies for the 21st century. In the process of her pioneering reconceptualization of Dewey's philosophy and practice, she also establishes herself at the front ranks of both Dewey scholars and deliberative democrats. (Harry Boyte, Center for Democracy and Citizenship)
About the Author
is senior research associate and associate director at the Center for Advances in Public Engagement.