Although Communitarianism has a long history, it is only recently that it has emerged to pose a major challenge to the traditional left-right divide in politics and the competing principles of individualism and collectivism. Henry Tam's book provides a broad-ranging and accessible introduction to communitarian ideas and their implications for politics and citizenship drawing on a wide range of international examples and engaging with communitarianism's critics to demonstrate clearly its relevance beyond the United States base of many of its major protagonists.
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Although communitarian ideas have had a long history, it is only recently that it has emerged to pose a major challenge to the traditional left-right divide and the competing principles of individualism and authoritarianism. Henry Tam's book brings different strands of communitarian thought together into a critical synthesis, at the center of which is the ideal of inclusive communities based on the three principles of co-operative enquiry, mutual responsibility, and citizen participation. The author shows how communitarian ideas can be applied practically in key areas of social, economic and political life, and concludes by assessing the prospects of communitarian reforms and the obstacles they need to overcome.From the Inside Flap:
"Tam combines, in a remarkably successful manner, a first-rate command of the philosophical issues with the experience of a communitarian practitioner. He writes with clarity and conviction. A 'must' for all care not only about communitarianism, but about community and indeed a good society" - Amitai Etzioni, George Washington University, USA
"Henry Tam brings a refreshing new perspective to the well-worn debate between communitarianism and individualism, derived from practical experience as well as moral commitment. He writes with passionate urgency, without sacrificing intellectual rigour. The result is a clarion call for a tolerant, democratic and pluralistic vision of community, as far removed from the moral authoritarianism that sometimes flies under the communitarian banner as from the hyper-individualism of free-market fundamentalism. This book should be compulsory reading for the Blair Cabinet." - Professor David Marquand, University of Oxford, UK
"Henry Tam is an outstanding exponent of communitarian ideas, grounding his work in both a deep understanding of political theory and experience in local government." - Professor John Stewart, University of Birmingham, UK
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