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On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship

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On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"The more one agrees with a book, the more one may be frustrated by its shortcomings. Although some sections are incisive and deftly written, On the Side of the Angels is a labor to read....Rosenblum's prose is so undisciplined, so maddeningly repetitious, so given to wandering into tangential thickets, that it is easy to lose patience..." Paul Starr, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Political parties are the defining institutions of representative democracy and the darlings of political science. Their governing and electoral functions are among the chief concerns of the field. Yet most political theorists — including democratic theorists — ignore or disparage parties as grubby arenas of ambition, obstacles to meaningful political participation and deliberation. On the Side of the Angels is a vigorous defense of the virtues of parties and partisanship, and their worth as a subject for political theory.

Nancy Rosenblum's account moves between political theory and political science, and she uses resources from both fields to outline an appreciation of parties and the moral distinctiveness of partisanship. She draws from the history of political thought and identifies the main lines of opposition to parties, as well as the rare but significant moments of appreciation. Rosenblum then sets forth her own theoretical appreciation of parties and partisanship. She discusses the achievement of parties in regulating rivalries, channeling political energies, and creating the lines of division that make pluralist politics meaningful. She defends partisan as a political identity over the much-vaunted status of independent, and she considers where contemporary democracies should draw the line in banning parties.

On the Side of the Angels offers an ethics of partisanship that speaks to questions of centrism, extremism, and polarization in American party politics. By rescuing parties from their status as orphans of political philosophy, Rosenblum fills a significant void in political and democratic theory.

Review:

"Riveting and highly original, On the Side of the Angels argues with great gusto as well as deep learning that both parties and partisanship are wrongly despised today as fragmenting the desirable holism of the body politic. No other book so comprehensively interprets the account of parties and partisanship given by major political philosophers while offering a contemporary normative argument that parties and partisanship serve the political good." Kathleen M. Sullivan, Stanford Law School

Review:

"Part intellectual history, part a study of contemporary politics, Nancy Rosenblum's exciting, original book poses an energetic challenge to both political theory and to citizens disaffected by democracy today. For those who think democracy would be better without strong political parties, Rosenblum seeks to show that parties and partisanship are central to meaningful political commitment." Richard H. Pildes, New York University School of Law

Synopsis:

"Part intellectual history, part a study of contemporary politics, Nancy Rosenblum's exciting, original book poses an energetic challenge to both political theory and to citizens disaffected by democracy today. For those who think democracy would be better without strong political parties, Rosenblum seeks to show that parties and partisanship are central to meaningful political commitment."--Richard H. Pildes, New York University School of Law

"Riveting and highly original, On the Side of the Angels argues with great gusto as well as deep learning that both parties and partisanship are wrongly despised today as fragmenting the desirable holism of the body politic. No other book so comprehensively interprets the account of parties and partisanship given by major political philosophers while offering a contemporary normative argument that parties and partisanship serve the political good."--Kathleen M. Sullivan, Stanford Law School

Synopsis:

Political parties are the defining institutions of representative democracy and the darlings of political science. Their governing and electoral functions are among the chief concerns of the field. Yet most political theorists--including democratic theorists--ignore or disparage parties as grubby arenas of ambition, obstacles to meaningful political participation and deliberation. On the Side of the Angels is a vigorous defense of the virtues of parties and partisanship, and their worth as a subject for political theory.

Nancy Rosenblum's account moves between political theory and political science, and she uses resources from both fields to outline an appreciation of parties and the moral distinctiveness of partisanship. She draws from the history of political thought and identifies the main lines of opposition to parties, as well as the rare but significant moments of appreciation. Rosenblum then sets forth her own theoretical appreciation of parties and partisanship. She discusses the achievement of parties in regulating rivalries, channeling political energies, and creating the lines of division that make pluralist politics meaningful. She defends "partisan" as a political identity over the much-vaunted status of "independent," and she considers where contemporary democracies should draw the line in banning parties.

On the Side of the Angels offers an ethics of partisanship that speaks to questions of centrism, extremism, and polarization in American party politics. By rescuing parties from their status as orphans of political philosophy, Rosenblum fills a significant void in political and democratic theory.

About the Author

Nancy L. Rosenblum is the Senator Joseph Clark Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government and chair of the Department of Government at Harvard University. She is the author of Membership and Morals: The Personal Uses of Pluralism in America (Princeton) and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship 1

PART I Glorious Traditions of Antipartyism and

Moments of Appreciation

Chapter 1: Glorious Traditions of Antipartyism: Holism 25

Chapter 2: Glorious Traditions of Antipartyism: Fatal Divisiveness 60

Chapter 3: Moments of Appreciation 108

PART II Post-Party Depression

Chapter 4: Progressive Antipartyism 165

Chapter 5: Th e Anxiety of Infl uence 210

Chapter 6: Correcting the System: Association, Participation,

and Deliberation 254

PART III The Moral Distinctiveness of "Party ID"

Chapter 7: Partisanship and Independence 319

Chapter 8: Centrism and Extremism and an Ethic

of Partisanship 369

Chapter 9: Militant Democracy: Banning Parties 412

Conclusion: "We Partisans" 456

Notes 461

Index 577

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691135342
Author:
Rosenblum, Nancy L.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Political science
Subject:
Political Parties
Subject:
Political Process - Political Parties
Subject:
Political philosophy
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
September 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
600
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General

On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship New Hardcover
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Product details 600 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691135342 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The more one agrees with a book, the more one may be frustrated by its shortcomings. Although some sections are incisive and deftly written, On the Side of the Angels is a labor to read....Rosenblum's prose is so undisciplined, so maddeningly repetitious, so given to wandering into tangential thickets, that it is easy to lose patience..." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "Riveting and highly original, On the Side of the Angels argues with great gusto as well as deep learning that both parties and partisanship are wrongly despised today as fragmenting the desirable holism of the body politic. No other book so comprehensively interprets the account of parties and partisanship given by major political philosophers while offering a contemporary normative argument that parties and partisanship serve the political good."
"Review" by , "Part intellectual history, part a study of contemporary politics, Nancy Rosenblum's exciting, original book poses an energetic challenge to both political theory and to citizens disaffected by democracy today. For those who think democracy would be better without strong political parties, Rosenblum seeks to show that parties and partisanship are central to meaningful political commitment."
"Synopsis" by ,

"Part intellectual history, part a study of contemporary politics, Nancy Rosenblum's exciting, original book poses an energetic challenge to both political theory and to citizens disaffected by democracy today. For those who think democracy would be better without strong political parties, Rosenblum seeks to show that parties and partisanship are central to meaningful political commitment."--Richard H. Pildes, New York University School of Law

"Riveting and highly original, On the Side of the Angels argues with great gusto as well as deep learning that both parties and partisanship are wrongly despised today as fragmenting the desirable holism of the body politic. No other book so comprehensively interprets the account of parties and partisanship given by major political philosophers while offering a contemporary normative argument that parties and partisanship serve the political good."--Kathleen M. Sullivan, Stanford Law School

"Synopsis" by ,

Political parties are the defining institutions of representative democracy and the darlings of political science. Their governing and electoral functions are among the chief concerns of the field. Yet most political theorists--including democratic theorists--ignore or disparage parties as grubby arenas of ambition, obstacles to meaningful political participation and deliberation. On the Side of the Angels is a vigorous defense of the virtues of parties and partisanship, and their worth as a subject for political theory.

Nancy Rosenblum's account moves between political theory and political science, and she uses resources from both fields to outline an appreciation of parties and the moral distinctiveness of partisanship. She draws from the history of political thought and identifies the main lines of opposition to parties, as well as the rare but significant moments of appreciation. Rosenblum then sets forth her own theoretical appreciation of parties and partisanship. She discusses the achievement of parties in regulating rivalries, channeling political energies, and creating the lines of division that make pluralist politics meaningful. She defends "partisan" as a political identity over the much-vaunted status of "independent," and she considers where contemporary democracies should draw the line in banning parties.

On the Side of the Angels offers an ethics of partisanship that speaks to questions of centrism, extremism, and polarization in American party politics. By rescuing parties from their status as orphans of political philosophy, Rosenblum fills a significant void in political and democratic theory.

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