This video by Brett Story explores a few different perspectives on what democracy means.

Take the discussion further

The site also includes links to news articles that we think could help generate discussion about how the frames in the book support critical thinking around current issues. The "Further Resources" section provides extra material that we think people interested in democracy might find useful.

Now is an important time for people
to be talking about democracy.

Democracy is a familiar word that means, literally, rule by the people. For many people, the word evokes familiar images, such as voting in elections, speeches by political leaders, courthouses, city halls, and so on. Others may think about protestors in the streets, neighbourhood meetings, or online debates among activist bloggers.

We think that these competing images are not simply random, or matters of individual taste, but reflect deep differences among basic assumptions of competing conceptions of popular power. Our book encourages readers to think seriously about the significance of these different ways of understanding and doing democracy, and to develop a clearer sense of their own democratic imagination. We use that term—the democratic imagination—to mean the capacity to conceive of what democracy is and work toward actually achieving it. Find out more »

On this website, you will find some thoughts about how the book might be used in different courses, as well as examples of in-class activities that tie the book's core themes and concepts to current events. We've also included statements from a variety of activists, students, professors, and others that show them exercising their own democratic imaginations.

News and Updates

What People are Saying

  • "A must-read for anyone interested in opening their thinking to a wider world of ideas." — Elaine Bernard, Harvard University
  • "The Democratic Imagination provides a readable and provocative analysis of the different ideas about democracy." —Judy Rebick, Activist and author of Occupy This!