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Community Wealth Building and the Reconstruction of American Democracy
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Community Wealth Building and the Reconstruction of American Democracy

Can We Make American Democracy Work?

9781839108129 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Melody C. Barnes, Co-Director of the Democracy Initiative, Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor and Professor of Practice in the Miller Center of Public Affairs, and a Distinguished Fellow in the School of Law at the University of Virginia, Corey D.B. Walker, Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities, Wake Forest University and Thad M. Williamson, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law, University of Richmond, US
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 83910 812 9 Extent: 296 pp
How can we create and sustain an America that never was, but should be? How can we build a robust multiracial democracy in which everyone is valued and everyone possesses political, economic and social capital? How can democracy become a meaningful way of life, for all citizens? By critically probing these questions, the editors of Community Wealth Building and the Reconstruction of American Democracy seize the opportunity to bridge the gap between our democratic aspirations and our current reality.

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How can we create and sustain an America that never was, but should be? How can we build a truly multiracial democracy in which everyone is valued and possesses the needed political, economic and social capital so that democracy becomes a meaningful way of life, for all citizens? By critically probing these questions, the editors of Community Wealth Building and the Reconstruction of American Democracy seize the opportunity to bridge the gap between our democratic aspirations and our current reality.
 
In a moment of democratic disappointment and anxiety, politicians, policy officials, scholars and citizens desire an effective response. This book assembles new voices and novel perspectives that offer a compelling vision for democracy and the prospects and possibilities afforded by community wealth building, an emerging policy paradigm focused on community-based, creative solutions to systemic problems. The contributors explore how, by cultivating the capacities of citizens, American democracy can be revived – indeed, created – as a veritable practice of everyday life.

Scholars of democracy in political science, history, sociology, public policy, economics, African-American studies and related topics as well as policy practitioners, journalists and students will appreciate the cutting-edge work by leading scholars and the contributions from impactful practitioners from the White House to City Halls, in this discussion of the challenges facing contemporary American democracy and the prospects for reform and change.
Contributors
Contributors: L. Balfour, M.C. Barnes, R.R. Berry, B. Brown Wilson, R. Dagger, M.Z. Gough, J.M. Hayter, M. Kohn, J.S. Maloy, R.K. Perry, K.P. Ruscio, I. Sawhill, C.D.B. Walker, N.J.G. Winter, T. Williamson
Contents
Contents:

PART I COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING AND
THE PROMISE OF DEMOCRATIC RECONSTRUCTION
1 Introduction: can we make American democracy work? 3
Melody C. Barnes, Corey D.B. Walker and Thad M. Williamson
2 Becoming the American community we should be—but
have never been 11
Melody C. Barnes and Thad M. Williamson

PART II RACIAL JUSTICE AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
3 Repairing American democracy? 39
Lawrie Balfour
4 Paidea , politics, and the people: deep democracy and the
new urban commons 58
Corey D.B. Walker

PART III POLITICAL ECONOMY AND COMMUNITY
WEALTH BUILDING
5 Capitalism and the future of democracy 78
Isabel Sawhill
6 Community wealth building: lessons from Italy 102
Margaret Kohn
7 A place to call home? Property, freedom, and the commonwealth 117
Richard Dagger

PART IV THE POLITICS OF DEMOCRATIC REFORM
8 Achieving accountability—or not—in contemporary times 132
Kenneth P. Ruscio
9 Ranking ballots and policy juries: institutional reforms in America 147
Jason S. Maloy
10 Gendered (and racialized) partisan polarization 161
Nicholas J.G. Winter
11 “Many new barriers”: democracy and resistance to the
Voting Rights Act of 1965 181
Julian Maxwell Hayter

PART V TOWARD A PRACTICAL POLITICS OF
COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING
12 Targeted universalism in urban communities: racial
discourse and policy rhetoric as harmony 198
Ravi K. Perry
13 Identifying structural racism as a barrier to community
wealth building 220
Risha R. Berry
14 The university as anchor institution in community wealth
building: snapshots from two Virginia universities 244
Barbara Brown Wilson and Meghan Z. Gough
15 Conclusion: the promise of 21st-century democratic renewal 259
Corey D.B. Walker and Thad M. Williamson

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