Open Access (free)
The Global Public and Its Problems
Author: John Narayan

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. The book highlights how Dewey's defence of democracy in the context of what he denotes as the Great Society leads him to confront the problems of globalization and global democracy. Then, it explores how Dewey's conception of creative democracy had global connotations. The book examines how Dewey problematized his own conception of democracy through arguing that the public within modern nation states was 'eclipsed' under the regime he called 'bourgeois democracy'. Then, it shifts the terrain of Dewey's global focus to ideas of global justice and equality. The book demonstrates that Dewey's idea of global democracy was linked with an idea of global equality, which would secure social intelligence on a global scale. It outlines the key Deweyan lessons about the problem of global democracy. The book shows how Dewey sets out an evolutionary form of global and national democracy in his work. Finally, it also outlines how Dewey believed liberal capitalism was unable to support social intelligence and needed replacing with a form of democratic socialism.

Open Access (free)
Retrieving a ‘Global’ American Philosopher
John Narayan

remind readers that not everything can be said in the same breath and that it is necessary to stress first one aspect and then another of the general subject. So I hope that what is said will be taken as a whole and also in comparison and contrast with alternative methods of social action. (LW11: 4)1 It might seem rather bizarre to claim that a return to the work of John Dewey can offer a greater appreciation of globalization and global democracy at the start of the twenty-first century. Dewey appears to be a creature of a wholly different epoch; born in 1859, the year

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Open Access (free)
Inheriting the Task of Creative Democracy
John Narayan

present. Just like the death of a dying star light-years away, then, the actual unfolding of events and the lessons to be learnt from the past can only be truly seen long after those events have actually taken place. The life and work of John Dewey would seem to fit this characterization of history. From within our present, Dewey’s work, which at its latest point is still over sixty years old, seems to now offer fresh ways of seeing and approaching our contemporary conundrum of managing globalization along democratic lines. The overriding point of Dewey’s work on

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Open Access (free)
John Narayan

2 The Global Democrat The new era of human relationships in which we live is one marked by mass production for remote markets, by cable and telephone, by cheap printing, by railway and steam navigation. Only geographically did Columbus discover a new world. The actual new world has been generated in the last hundred years. (LW2: 323) As the last chapter made clear, John Dewey’s conception of creative democracy points towards the perpetual adaption of social institutions, including democratic institutions and practices themselves, as new publics are engendered

in John Dewey
John Narayan

meaning of history was therefore always to be refracted through the perspectives and needs of the present. With that in mind, after journeying through the work of John Dewey and his views on global democracy, it seems that we come to a logical set of questions concerning the relationship between Dewey’s time and our own. How are we to use his work for our own purposes? How does Dewey’s work help us contemplate and theorize our present form of globalization? And how does Dewey’s work inform an analysis of post-Westphalian ideas of global democracy in the twenty

in John Dewey
John Narayan

believing in the idea of a self-correcting form of reason – a thought rearticulated by C. Wright Mills in the 1960s when he would declare that Dewey’s work lacked an account of the power structures of the modern capitalist social order (Mills 1964). Even sympathetic interlocutors like Robert Westbrook (1991, 2005), Michael Eldridge (1998) and Cornel West (1989) appear to suggest that Dewey provided far too few concrete practical means to achieve his own democratic ends. As Richard Bernstein (2010: 87) puts it, Dewey’s idea of democracy as way of life 76 John Dewey

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John Narayan

firmly believed that the nature of globalization meant that global forms of democracy were necessary to manage the Great Society. However, Dewey ultimately problematized his own thought when examining the feasibility of global democracy. Writing just after the end of the Second World War, Dewey initially counters ‘defeatism’ over the ability to govern the globe by reminding his readers that it was once believed that the United States was too big a land mass over which to create rule of law and democracy. Going further, Dewey suggests 56 John Dewey that if as much

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Open Access (free)
John Narayan

suitability of democratic government for 1920s America. Conducted by American political scientists and commentators, these critiques of the suitability of democratic government would form what became known as ‘democratic realism’. And by the 1930s, the paradigm had become near hegemonic in American social science (Westbrook 1991: 281–6). 16 John Dewey The main charge of democratic realism was that democracy was now unable to provide a stable or efficient government for advanced industrial societies. For democratic realism, the institutions of democratic government, which

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Knowledge production and social inquiry
Editors: Jane Wills and Robert W. Lake

This book makes the case for a pragmatist approach to the practice of social inquiry and knowledge production. Through diverse examples from multiple disciplines, contributors explore the power of pragmatism to inform a practice of inquiry that is democratic, community-centred, problem-oriented and experimental. Drawing from both classical and neo-pragmatist perspectives, the book advances a pragmatist sensibility in which truth and knowledge are contingent rather than universal, made rather than found, provisional rather than dogmatic, subject to continuous experimentation rather than ultimate proof and verified in their application in action rather than in the accuracy of their representation of an antecedent reality. The power of pragmatism offers a path forward for mobilizing the practice of inquiry in social research, exploring the implications of pragmatism for the process of knowledge production.

A Deweyan vision of democracy and social research 
Malcolm P. Cutchin

descriptions they offered – they suggested little about development of a better future. Then, while studying qualitative methods in a sociology course, I discovered that Glaser and Strauss – the developers of grounded theory, an approach to the analysis of qualitative data based on openness to what the data suggest rather than using a priori theory – had been inspired and influenced by John Dewey ( Strauss, 1987 ). My curiosity was piqued. Who was Dewey, and what was his philosophy about? The university library offered access to works about Dewey’s philosophy and then some

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