In a new book, What Democracy is For: On Freedom and Moral Government (Princeton University Press, 2007), Stein Ringen points out the failure of the world’s democracies, most specifically the United States and Britain, to live up to their own founding ideological values and expectations. Ringen, professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Oxford, argues that citizens are increasingly distrustful of their government and apathetic to participating in public affairs.
On Monday, April 30, Stein Ringen joned Brookings Senior Fellows William Galston and Kent Weaver to discuss the policy solutions he proposed in his book that aim to restore faith in global democracy. Panelists also discussed Ringen’s view that a global economy must be grounded in shared values of freedom and democracy.
This event was the fourth in the occasional series, “Governing Ideas,” hosted by Brookings’s Governance Studies program. The series is intended to broaden the discussion of governance issues through forums on timely and relevant books on history, culture, legal norms and practices, values and religion.
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Unless we collectively correct our course as a nation, in a few decades the concept of an “American Dream” might be nothing more than a dusty, antiquated relic.