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Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic$
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Sandra M. Gustafson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226311296

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226311302.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Deliberative Fictions

Deliberative Fictions

Chapter:
(p.152) Six Deliberative Fictions
Source:
Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic
Author(s):

Sandra M. Gustafson

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226311302.003.0007

This chapter focuses on deliberative fictions which offered the writers of the early republic a textual laboratory where they could sketch the potential and limits of deliberative democracy. It states that the novels of Lydia Maria Child and James Fenimore Cooper are distinguished by their sustained treatments of modern republicanism, which they develop in elaborate scenes focused on the deliberative process. This choice of genre allowed Child and Cooper to experiment with different assumptions about deliberation and explore how the dynamics of power and resistance affect it. Their novels identify some fundamental challenges of the modern republic as they examine the place of dissent, the nature of the rule of law, and the dangers posed by demagogues. In their novels and political writings Cooper and Child explored the potential virtues as well as the existing flaws of deliberative democracy.

Keywords:   fiction, deliberative democracy, Lydia Maria Child, James Fenimore Cooper, republicanism, demagogues, political writings, republic

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