Of Tensions and Tricksters: Grassroots Democracy between Theory and Practice

Romand Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy. By Mark R. Warren; Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life. By Harry C. Boyte; Going Public. By Michael Gecan; and Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice. By Edward T. Chambers with Michael A. Cowan. These are not easy times for democracy. In the face of multinational corporations, an increasingly corrupt and deceitful political system, mega-media conglomerates, and militaristic televangelists, it is easy to understand how some radical democrats succumb to a politics of the bullhorn. The objective of such politics is to hone the correct line and strategize ways to project it clearly, loudly, and righteously into the public arena. Yet the success of politics thus framed has been marginal in recent decades, and its democratic credentials questionable—if by democratic we mean a politics that engages a manifold people in the difficult reciprocities of active critical judgment, organizing, action toward common goods, more egalitarian distributions, and deepening acknowledgments of plural modes of being. Most Americans are Teflon to it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-561
Number of pages15
JournalPerspectives on Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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