Dewey's Dream: Universities and Democracies in An Age of Education Reform : Civil Society, Public Schools, and Democratic Citizenship

By Lee Benson; Ira Harkavy et al. | Go to book overview
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Notes

INTRODUCTION

1. John Dewey, “Ethics of Democracy,” in The Early Works of John Dewey, 1882–1888, vol. 1, ed. Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, 1969), 237. Quotations from Early Works were verified in Larry Hickman, ed., The Collected Works of John Dewey, 1882–1953: The Electronic Edition (Charlottesville, VA: InteLex Corporation, 1996).

2. Robert Westbrook, John Dewey and American Democracy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991), xiv–xv. It seems worth noting that Dewey himself never used the specific term “participatory democracy” to characterize his general theory of democracy. That term, however, is highly appropriate because it neatly catches the participatory essence of Dewey's comprehensive theory, which emphasizes that democracy is much more than a form of government; it is a “way of life” in which all citizens actively, and appropriately, participate in making and implementing all the communal, societal, and institutional decisions that significantly shape their lives. We were indeed surprised to discover that Dewey never actually used the term that has been frequently used to characterize his democratic theory and is now commonly used by people who know little, if anything, about its Deweyan inspiration. We discovered this when we made an electronic keyword search of all of Dewey's published works in Hickman, Electronic Edition.

General agreement now exists that the specific term “participatory democracy” was coined in 1960 by Arnold Kaufman, a philosopher at the University of Michigan. It was then popularized in 1962 by Tom Hayden, one of his students, in the extraordinarily influential Port Huron Statement of the radical student movement Students for a Democratic Society. For a succinct account of the term's coinage and Deweyan inspiration, see the brilliant review essay on the history of the general theory of participatory democracy by Jane Mansbridge, “On the Idea

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