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Contemporary Political Theory

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 478–510 | Cite as

Benjamin Barber and the Practice of Political Theory

  • Richard BattistoniEmail author
  • Mark B. Brown
  • John Dedrick
  • Lisa Disch
  • Jennet Kirkpatrick
  • Jane Mansbridge
Critical Exchange

The realm of politics invites cynicism, but it always engenders hope…Politics at its best allows us to decide together as citizens how to undo the inadvertent common effects of all that we do one by one as consumers and producers, or what we do when private interests and prejudice seize the institutions of the state to try to undo public goods. It is the arena where public goods can trump private interests, where the commonwealth can become a measure of higher purposes and the mirror of public values. But politics is hardly at its best right now, and [t]he weakness of politics undermines democracy—the faith behind politics. —Benjamin R. Barber (2017, pp. 7–8)

Benjamin Reynolds Barber died on April 24, 2017 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 77 years old, survived by his wife Leah, three children, and six grandchildren. His work and his legacy span a range of activities and publications that bear witness to a remarkable journey of invention and reinvention. He is probably...

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Battistoni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark B. Brown
    • 2
  • John Dedrick
    • 3
  • Lisa Disch
    • 4
  • Jennet Kirkpatrick
    • 5
  • Jane Mansbridge
    • 6
  1. 1.Providence CollegeProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.California State UniversitySacramentoUSA
  3. 3.The Kettering FoundationDaytonUSA
  4. 4.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  6. 6.John F. Kennedy School of GovernmentHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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