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By Robert Cavalier

Illustrations By Reuben Negrón 

ISBN-13: 978-1-934389-36-2
Price: US $14.95
6x9, 128 pp
February 2009


B/W Illustrations

With all the talk about “democracy” these days, it’s surprising how little time is spent concentrating on the concept of democracy itself, its history and justification as a form of political governance. Democracy for Beginners looks at democracy’s rich evolution in its varied forms, and at some of the challenges democracies face today.

Beginning with the rise of democracy in fifth-century Athens and ending with an exploration of what the future might hold — for example the notion of “e-democracy”— Democracy for Beginners is an important resource for understanding the foundation on which our country stands. Readers will become familiar with ideas advanced by democracy’s advocates and architects, and by its critics, from Plato to contemporary social choice theoreticians.

Democracy for Beginners is the perfect introduction to the United States of America's founding principles. 


Robert Cavalier is editor of The Impact of the Internet on Our Moral Lives (SUNY, 2005) and author of Plato For Beginners (For Beginners, 1990) and Democracy For Beginners (For Beginners, 2009). He is a member of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Ethics and Policy and Director of the Program for Deliberative Democracy, which won a 2008 Good Government Award from the Pittsburgh League of Women Voters. In 2010, Cavalier was winner of the prestigious World Technology Network Award in Ethics. His latest book is Approaching Deliberative Democracy: Theory and Practice (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2011). 

Today his work in deliberative democracy is being realized in the design of citizen forums to be used as feedback loops for the City of Pittsburgh’s selection of a new police chief. This is part of an effort to make the City of Pittsburgh a center for deliberative democracy (the kind of strong democracy recommended in his book Democracy For Beginners).

See also the article:

News Brief: Carnegie Mellon's Program for Deliberative Democracy

Partners with City of Pittsburgh for New Chief of Police Search


Reuben Negrón is a visual artist who works across many fields. He is a regular contributor to the comic book anthology, Rabid Rabbit. His work has been published internationally in novels, periodicals and annuals, including Playboy, Communication Arts, and Spectrum. As a fine artist, Reuben’s work has been exhibited domestically as well as abroad. He holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He currently lives and works in New York City.

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