2011 David Easton Award, presented for the best book by the Foundations of Political Theory section of APSA:
"The Future of Democratic Equality, by Joseph Schwartz, takes on three tasks, and accomplishes all brilliantly. Any one of these tasks well fulfilled would have been a laudable achievement. First, Schwartz argues for the centrality of the question of equality to democratic politics. Second, he critically analyzes and explains the shocking rise in inequality in the United States over the last three decades. This he does with conceptual clarity, rich interdisciplinary analysis, and a thorough examination of hard socioeconomic data. Third, he assails the near absence of concern for this soaring inequality among contemporary political theorists, and offers a cogent, and stinging, explanation that takes to task the discipline’s preoccupation with difference and identity severed from the pragmatics of democratic equality. The Future of Democratic Equality is a courageous and disciplined effort to tackle a hugely important political problem and intellectual puzzle. It well embodies the spirit of the Easton Book Award by providing well-grounded normative theory targeted to an urgent matter of contemporary concern. It is a must read for anyone who cares about democracy." - Respectfully submitted by Leslie Paul Thiele, University of Florida (chair) and Cary J. Nederman, Texas A&M University
"Joseph Schwartz is one of the leading progressive political theorists in the country. His recent book is a superb historical narrative and political analysis of both the undemocratic turn in American society and the anti-political turn in American academia. His radical democratic project avoids the pitfalls of a narrow politics of identity and an arrogant politics of old-style left solidarity—and it is powerful and propitious!"
--Cornel West, Princeton University
"In this excellent book, Joseph Schwartz provides what has been missing in recent political theory: a strong theoretical account of the causes of contemporary inequality and of the politics of citizenship and solidarity necessary to overcome it."
--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study
"Joseph Schwartz offers a brilliant critique of the failures of contemporary political theory to address the urgent quandaries of our time. In the process, he points in a direction that would once again place the problems of inequality and class at the center of theoretical inquiry. A welcome intervention indeed!"
-- Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
"The Future of Democratic Equality is an important book, and Schwartz succeeds in laying out a comprehensive and invigorating approach for challenging race-to-the-bottom forms of globalization. His book is both sharply argued and politically relevant, and attention to it is sure to benefit both the field of political science and the field of democratic politics itself."
—Erin E. O’Brien, University of Massachusetts Boston; reviewed in Perspectives on Politics
About the Author
Joseph M. Schwartz
is professor of political science at Temple University. He is the author of The Permanence of the Political
, winner of the North American Society for Social Philosophy’s best book award.