Reviving Democratic Citizenship?

Politics and Society 41 (2):309-317 (2013)
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Abstract

Many of our inherited civic institutions are dead or dying. We need an ambitious reform program to revive democratic life. This essay advances a four-pronged “citizenship agenda”: a campaign finance initiative granting each voter fifty “patriot dollars” to fund candidates and political parties of his or her choice; a proposal for a new national holiday, Deliberation Day, held before each national election, enabling citizens to deliberate on the merits of rival candidates; a system of federally financed electronic news-vouchers to permit professional journalism to survive the destruction of its traditional business model; and a new form of citizenship inheritance, which provides $80,000 to all Americans as they start off life as adults. Working with collaborators, I have developed each of these initiatives at book length. This essay suggests how the “citizenship agenda” yields a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts.

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