Cover image for Civility and citizenship in liberal democratic societies
Civility and citizenship in liberal democratic societies
Banfield, Edward C.

Publication Information:
New York : Paragon House, 1991.
Physical Description:
p. cm.
General Note:
Based on papers presented at the Fourth International Conference of the Professors World Peace Academy, held in London, England, Aug. 1989.

"A PWPA book."

Includes index.
Added Author:


Material Type
Item Barcode
Call Number
Shelf Location
Item Holds
Book BILKUTUP0120656 JC423 .C57 1991 Central Campus Library

On Order



"How do civility and citizenship, aspects of the individual's attachment to a liberal democratic society, affect the nature and future of that society? This book reminds us of the fragility of a good political order and the complexities of maintaining liberal democracy, even when actions of citizens are wise and virtuous." "Professor Banfield states that history and reflection tell us that a majority may tyrannize cruelly over a minority. What we want is not majority rule simply, but majority rule plus the protection of certain rights that pertain to individuals. This is the difference between democracy and liberal democracy; in the latter there is a private sphere into which the governing authority may not intrude." "Citizenship implies a sense of shared responsibility for the conduct of a regime; a regime is fully liberal but less than fully democratic if rights are protected but significant numbers of persons are denied, or decline to accept and exercise, the duties of citizenship. It will be found that by this test the number of nations that approach the ideal of liberal democracy - that are at once very liberal and democratic - is painfully small and that the most liberal are not those in which citizenship is most widely held and exercised." "If a liberal democratic society is to continue as such there must be widely respected institutions, practices, and modes of thought that encourage or demand the making of concessions where necessary to preserve the degree of harmony without which the society could not continue as a going concern. The obligation of the citizen to obey the law is one such safeguard of order. The idea of civic virtue is another. Civility, the culturally ingrained willingness to tolerate behavior that is offensive, is yet another." "The first chapter by Edward Shils distinguishes the "civil person" and the "state" and points to conditions of modern life that threaten to erode civility and endanger liberal democracy." "Katherine Auspitz tells how certain British and continental writers in the eighteenth and nineteenth century sought to encourage the motivations they deemed essential for a free society." "Charles Kesler describes the American founders' conception of public interest." "Clifford Orwin views this subject in the contrasting lights of ancient and modern philosophy." "Robert Goldwin maintains, through an examination of the American experience, that the tension between rights and democracy and between rights and citizenship renders liberal democracy impossible except as civility intervenes." "James Q. Wilson explores the relationship between economic progress, the cultural changes brought about by the Enlightenment and increased criminality." "Elie Kedourie examines the prospects for civility and liberal consensus in what has been called the "Third World."" "The final chapter, Myron Weiner discussed the problem of citizenship and migration of peoples in relation to liberal democracies, especially in regard to the demand from people in low-income developing countries to enter advanced industrial democracies."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved