Show Summary Details
Page of

Printed from Oxford Politics Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 December 2023

p. 995. Leave it to the People: Democratic Pragmatismlocked

p. 995. Leave it to the People: Democratic Pragmatismlocked

  • John S. DryzekJohn S. DryzekProfessor of Political Science and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, Australian National University


This chapter examines democratic pragmatism, a discourse of environmental problem solving that emerged as a corrective to administration. Democratic pragmatism may be characterized in terms of interactive problem solving within the basic institutional structure of liberal capitalist democracy. The word ‘pragmatism’ can have two connotations: the first is the way the word is used in everyday language, as signifying a practical, realistic orientation to the world, the opposite of starry-eyed idealism; the second refers to a school of thought in philosophy, associated with names such as William James, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey. This chapter treats democracy as a problem-solving discourse reconciled to the basic status quo of liberal capitalism. It first considers democratic pragmatism in action before discussing democratic pragmatism as government and governance. It also explores the rationality of democratic pragmatism, the discourse analysis of democratic pragmatism, and the limits of democratic pragmatism.

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription