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When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?: How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality Hardcover – July 22, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[T]his book's argument is very strong, and its attention to anticipating and rebutting objections is both exceptional and laudable. When the State Speaks is likely to become the standard political-liberal treatise on the ways in which a democratic state should treat inegalitarian viewpoints--no small achievement given the persistence and quality of debates in this area."--Andrew Sabl, Perspectives on Politics

"This stimulating and carefully argued book makes a substantial contribution to the debate over how liberal states should respond to illiberal groups within their borders. The topic is timely and important, and even readers who disagree with Corey Brettschneider's positions will find that his arguments repay close attention."--David McCabe, Political Science Quarterly

"This is a really good book. Brettschneider's When the State Speaks is both provocative and persuasive, resolving a stubborn conflict within democratic theory in a way many will initially reject, but which he argues for so effectively that, by the end, the controversial appears the commonsensical. . . . [T]his is a useful book, clearly written and well-argued. It is a great addition to political theory."--Sarah Conly, Res Publica

"I strongly recommend this book. It deserves serious reflection and critical discussion."--John A. Dick, Ethical Perspectives

"Brettschneider's [book] . . . is a carefully argued and coherent defense of the American approach, a defense more thoughtful, more internally consistent, and more connected with the relevant philosophical literature than will ever plausibly be located in a judicial opinion. His connection of issues about government speech with the political theory literature on neutrality is innovative, analytically deep, and careful, and his discussion of free speech theory and doctrine, while less innovative, is nevertheless rigorous, accurate, and well aimed at exactly the target of his interest."--Frederick Schauer, Political Theory

From the Back Cover

"A bold answer to the problem of the liberal state which allows illiberal views to flourish without coercion, this book shows that core liberal ideals can be expressed by the state in words, funding, and schooling. Corey Brettschneider consolidates and extends his theory of value democracy, offering an alternative to neutrality and perfectionism alike."--Melissa Lane, Princeton University

"In this lucid and compelling book, Brettschneider takes on some of the most vexing issues in contemporary liberal polities, and offers a theory of value democracy as a touchstone for addressing those issues. His argument is one with which everyone will have to engage. A pleasure to read, this is political theory at its best."--Austin Sarat, Amherst College

"This terrific book examines the place of liberal democratic values in private life and forwards a novel and controversial argument: the liberal democratic state justifiably engages in noncoercive efforts at democratic persuasion so that the ostensibly private beliefs of individuals at odds with liberal democratic values might be transformed. This book will be widely discussed."--Rob Reich, Stanford University

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (July 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691147620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691147628
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,478,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a very exciting book. Brettschneider takes a controversial position and succeeds in making it extremely plausible, addressing our fears of Big Brother, state propaganda, and totalitarianism by showing that if the message it sends is appropriate, state education in values is not only permissible but really what makes the most sense. In some ways the state already expresses values by its actions, but too often that message is muted, and we see in the too common instances of political hate-mongering a general failure to understand what democracy is really about. Brettschneider recommends making the implicit explicit, so the state creates a public with a much better understanding of the values of democracy and respect for the individual. The book is clearly written, and directly pertinent to current affairs. I recommend it highly.
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