Fred Baumann

Fred Baumann is professor of political science at Kenyon College.

We’ll Always Have Sproul Plaza

fugitive democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin, who died last year, was an immensely influential figure in American political thought. His student, Nicholas Xenos, has edited 25 of Wolin’s essays as a kind of monument to his teacher, the noted democratic theorist, lover of “participatory democracy,” and scourge of all forms of antidemocratic thought. And a fitting monument it is. Fugitive Democracy and Other Essays gradually reveals the whole of Wolin’s thought from bottom to top, from fundamental question to perpetual answer. That question is what to do about modernity. Like Martin Heidegger and his French followers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault, but above…

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Falling in Love with Social Democracy

Belknap Press, 2013

That a political regime cannot be sustained by principles and institutions alone is something Martha Nussbaum understands. The regime has to be supported by the sentiments of the citizens. In her new book, Nussbaum, a University of Chicago professor and an author of formidable reputation, turns her attention to “political emotions.” Not just any will do, of course. Regimes like the Russia of the last Czars or the first Putin have often sought to shore up fading legitimacy with xenophobic hatred, with predictably bad results. Nussbaum, rightly, doesn’t want that. Instead, she seeks to find the emotions appropriate for what she…

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