DescriptionIn this book Paul Hirst makes a major contribution to democratic thinking, advocating "associative democracy"; the belief that human welfare and liberty are best served when as many of the affairs of society as possible are managed by voluntary and democratically self-governing associations.
1. A Changed Conjuncture.
2. Associative Principles and Democratic Reform.
3. Associational Ethics and Logics of Collective Action.
4. Associative Democracy and Economic Governance.
5. Current Realities and Economic Reform.
6. Thick Welfare, Thin Collectivism.
7. An Associational and Confederal Welfare State.
Suggestions for Further Reading.
'This is an important and invigorating contribution to ongoing debates about welfare and governance in contemporary Western societies. It deserves to be widely read.' Political Studies Association
'Representative government and corporate bureaucracy have dominated the 20th century. In this book Paul Hirst has the bold ambition of reviving the alternative 19th century traditions of pluralism, co-operation and voluntary association to complement if not replace them. But he modifies these alternatives both in theory and by reference to recent institutional experiment. It is an attractive prospect, delineated with force and learning.' James Cornford, Institute for Public Policy Research
'This very clearly written and original book should play a key role in the increasingly intense, and hopefully productive, argument about the revitalisation of democratic systems.' Sociology
'Hirst defends his proposal with commendable confidence and vigour. It has a pleasing plausibility, and it is good to see genuinely radical suggestions being advanced at the present time.' Radical Philosophy
'... This persuasive book, ... full of sharp insights.' British Journal of Sociology
* This volume is a major contribution to democratic thinking and political thought.
* Paul Hirst has contributed extensively to debates in political and social theory over more than two decades; this is his most important and original statement.