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In Our Name: The Ethics of Democracy Hardcover – July 22, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Beerbohm addresses crucially important questions with philosophical insight and some imagination: When are people in a democratic system complicit in and responsible for unjust government actions and structures? What is required of citizens under unjust circumstances?"--Choice

"Beerbohm's research and range are impressive; he is precise in definition and argumentation: he tests his proposed principles against a staggering variety of hypothetical situations (and the occasional real one): and he is fearless in suggesting that our current political practices may defy justification. . . . Although other books have sought to treat the theme of citizen complicity in public wrongdoing, none approaches this one in its care, seriousness, and sophistication."--Andrew Sabl, Perspectives on Politics

"[T]he book provides us with a breathtakingly expansive, and ultimately compelling, account of citizens' duties within representative government. In Our Name is a distinctive and important contribution to democratic theory."--Melissa Schwartzberg, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Beerbohm's contribution can be considered obligatory reading for political philosophers who occupy themselves with questions related to the moral implication of citizens in policy writing and execution by their elected officials and with democratic agency in general."--Jos Leys, Ethical Perspectives

"Combining wide learning with a tenacious and undogmatic focus on the problems of democratic citizenship, Beerbohm has written a book that identifies fresh solutions to some important problems and should become a key reference point for democratic theorists."--Matthew Festenstein, Political Studies Review

From the Back Cover

"Are citizens in a democracy complicit in the injustices perpetrated by a state that acts in their name? Yes they are, argues Eric Beerbohm. In Our Name is a major statement in democratic theory that develops a novel approach to the relationship between citizen and representative. This book will reorient our understanding of the nature of representation in a democracy and appeal to philosophers, political theorists, and social scientists alike."--Rob Reich, Stanford University

"In Our Name explores the moral and epistemic predicament of the democratic citizen, analyzing the ethics of participation, belief, and delegation that condition the responsibilities of citizens and their political representatives. Drawing on a distinctive theory of action, this account of complicity powerfully challenges the understanding of our duties as citizens."--Melissa Lane, author of Eco-Republic

"This book sets forth a highly innovative way of thinking about the meaning of democracy. Resisting the familiar claim that individuals have little or no causal impact on democratic laws or policies, Beerbohm makes the case for a compelling new vision of self-government. Emphasizing the centrality of individual responsibility in collective decision making, Beerbohm opens a path that other scholars working in democratic theory will have to walk through in the future."--Corey Brettschneider, Brown University

"This sharp and keenly argued book seeks to clarify the decision-making responsibilities of citizens and their representatives, given the complex ways in which they can be complicit in unjust political actions. Beerbohm offers a new ethics of participation grounded in the idea of citizens as political coprincipals and he provides institutional mechanisms to guide citizens' thoughts, decisions, and actions in democratic life."--Lucas Swaine, Dartmouth College


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