John Dewey

The global public and its problems

By John Narayan

John Dewey


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9324-5
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £50.00
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: Politics, Social & political philosophy, Political science & theory, Globalization, POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, PHILOSOPHY / Political, Society & social sciences / Globalization, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Humanities / Social & political philosophy
  • Series: Theory for a Global Age


This book argues that John Dewey should be read as a philosopher of globalization rather than as a 'local' American philosopher. Although Dewey's political philosophy was rooted in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America, it was more importantly about the role of America in a globalized world. In returning to, and recovering the neglected global dimensions of Dewey's political philosophy, the book highlights how his insights about globalization and democracy can inform present theoretical debates.

John Narayan traces the emergence of Dewey as a global democrat through an examination of his work from The public and its problems (1927) onwards. Narayan shows how Dewey sets out an evolutionary form of global and national democracy in his work, that has not been fully appreciated even by contemporary scholars of pragmatism, and which offers valuable lessons for the twenty-first century and for our own hopes for global democracy.


'This carefully crafted response to Dewey's critics and supporters alike presents a radical Dewey appropriate for our own time of massive economic disparity and emerging global publics. The Dewey presented here takes the measure of relations between bourgeois democracy and global democracies, between liberal capitalism and social democracy. Narayan's Dewey is edgy and exciting.'

Larry A. Hickman, Director of the Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA

'John Narayan's incisive, timely work challenges us to rethink the meaning and possibility of democracy in today's global context. Using John Dewey's ideas about democratic publics, the book probes the potentialities and limits of democracy in a globalized world rife with sharp economic inequalities, intense racial, ethnic, and religious splits, and strong anti-democratic currents. His reconstructive interpretation outlines an alternative to the dominant neoliberal regime.'

Robert J. Antonio, Professor of Sociology, University of Kansas, USA

'This is an excellent and novel treatment of Dewey's political thought.'
P. R. Babbitt, Southern Arkansas University, Choice 01/08/2016


John Narayan is Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK


1. Introducing the enigma of global democracy
2. Creative democracy
3. The global democrat
4. Twenty-first century creative democracy
5. Conclusion: Democracy and global justice

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