Demanding Democracy by Marc Stears
American Radicals in Search of a New Politics

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews


This is a major work of history and political theory that traces radical democratic thought in America across the twentieth century, seeking to recover ideas that could reenergize democratic activism today. The question of how citizens should behave as they struggle to create a more democratic society has haunted the United States throughout its history. Should citizens restrict themselves to patient persuasion or take to the streets and seek to impose change? Marc Stears argues that anyone who continues to wrestle with these questions could learn from the radical democratic tradition that was forged in the twentieth century by political activists, including progressives, trade unionists, civil rights campaigners, and members of the student New Left.

These activists and their movements insisted that American campaigners for democratic change should be free to strike out in whatever ways they thought necessary, so long as their actions enhanced the political virtues of citizens and contributed to the eventual triumph of the democratic cause. Reevaluating the moral and strategic arguments, and the triumphs and excesses, of this radical democratic tradition, Stears contends that it still offers a compelling account of citizen behavior--one that is fairer, more inclusive, and more truly democratic than those advanced by political theorists today.


About Marc Stears

See more books from this Author
Marc Stears is university lecturer in political theory at the University of Oxford and fellow in politics at University College, Oxford. He is the author of "Progressives, Pluralists and the Problems of the State" and the coeditor of "Political Theory: Methods and Approaches".
Published January 4, 2010 by Princeton University Press. 249 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Rate this book!

Add Review