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Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

5. Leave It to the People  

Democratic Pragmatism

This chapter treats democracy as a way of approaching problems through involving a variety of interests and actors along with citizens in interactive problem solving within the basic institutional structure of liberal capitalist democracy. It is manifested in for example public consultation, alternative dispute resolution, policy dialogue, lay citizen deliberation, and public inquiries. The turn from government to more decentralized and networked governance can be seen as a kind of democratic pragmatism, though networks do not always enhance democracy. This problem solving must be a flexible process that involves many voices and cooperation across a plurality of perspectives. The degree of participation with which pragmatists are happy often corresponds to existing liberal democracies and enables congruence between the demands of rationality in social problem solving and democratic values, though efforts exist to deepen both the democratic and problem-solving capacity of participation.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

35. Angela Y. Davis  

Manjeet Ramgotra

This chapter examines the core ideas of Angela Davis’s radical Marxist, abolitionist, political theory. It starts by looking at her experiences of racism, sexism, and imprisonment which underpin her activism to create a better world against the oppressions of the capitalist, white supremacist and heteropatriarchal state. Additionally, Davis advances arguments for the abolition of prisons. Davis’s abolitionism promotes a more humane and inclusive society based on radical conceptions of community, caring, and solidarity. The chapter also covers Davis’s work examining how Black women in particular faced multiple and intersecting oppressions of gender, race, class, and sexuality, especially as articulated in her Women, Race and Class (1981).