Confronting one explosive political issue after another from discrimination against women to gays to the limits of religious liberty, Cass Sunstein's Designing Democracy constructs a powerful new perspective from which to show how democracies negotiate their most divisive realworld problems. He focuses on a series of concrete concerns that go to the heart of the relationship between the idea of democracy and the idea of constitutionalism. Sunstein demonstrates how a good constitution enables peoples of opposing ethical and religious commitments to reach agreement where agreement is necessary, while making it unnecessary to reach agreement when agreement is impossible. Extending his important recent work on the way deliberation within like-minded groups can produce extremism, Sustein breaks new ground in identifying the mechanisms behind political conflict in democratic nations. A marvel of lucid, subtle reasoning, Designing Democracy reveals how a nation's divisions of conviction and belief can be used to safeguard democracy.

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