Equality and Democracy

A New Press Back-to-Basics Book

What is the role of equality in today’s America? What are the arguments to be made for it, now that it is under increasing attack? Philip Green, whose scholarly books on equality and inequality have become basic texts of political analysis, here reexamines this most basic assumption of our democracy to get at the fundamental questions underlying current debate.

Tackling the seeming conflict between a belief in equality and a meritocracy, Green demonstrates how an emphasis on merit ultimately promotes equality rather than inequality, and shows that it is both possible and economically sound for our society to move in the direction of increased equality. Further, he shows how a true belief in equal opportunity will change the way in which we think about political representation, welfare, child care, affirmative action, and the obligations of the citizens of affluent societies to the rest of the world. Equality and Democracy takes on these crucial questions with great clarity. Without recourse to jargon, Green analyzes complex political debates around equality, explaining the range of arguments, and evaluating their potential for bringing equality back to a central place in America’s future. Equality and Democracy is both an original work of political theory and a compelling analysis of the direction political action ought to take in the twenty-first century.


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