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Direct Deliberative Democracy: How Citizens Can Rule
Debra Campbell & Jack Crittenden

Black Rose Books

Regular price $22.00

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Direct Deliberative Democracy: How Citizens Can Rule

Debra Campbell & Jack Crittenden


Why can’t we make our own laws? In this provocative book, authors Jack Crittenden and Debra Campbell make the case that the time has come for more direct democracy in the U.S., showing that the circumstances which made the Constitutional framers’ arguments so convincing over 200 years ago have changed dramatically and that democracy needs to change with the times.

With money, lobbyists, and corporations now dominating local, state, and national elections, the authors argue that now is the time for citizens to take control of their lives by deliberating together to make laws directly. They propose a new system of “legislative juries” in which the jury system would be used as a model for impaneling citizens to help create ballot initiatives.

Dr. Jack Crittenden has taught political theory at Arizona State University for nearly 30 years and is the author of three books on politics. Along with Dr. Debra Campbell, he is a founding member of the 3-D Politics Institute, which plots different ways that citizens can engage in making laws directly. Dr. Campbell, who teaches philosophy at Mesa Community College, introduced the concept of “Legislative Juries,” in which citizens would be impaneled in juries to help make laws.

“Democracy for the people and by the people. The reality too often falls far short of this ideal. Debra Campbell and Jack Crittenden argue powerfully in this fascinating new book for a direct deliberative democracy that challenges both our theories and practices of democracy. The public yearns to have its voice heard. This book makes the case for how. Start your dialogue today.”
  – Thom Brooks, Dean & Professor of Law and Government, Durham University (UK), author of Becoming British: UK Citizenship Examined.

"Oscar Wilde once remarked that socialism would never work. 'It takes too many evenings.' Genuine democracy – not façade democracy – suffers from the same failing. If we want a democracy, we are going to have to work at it. Campbell and Crittenden take that responsibility seriously, and in this extremely original book, they offer a proposal – legislative juries – designed to make democracy for the first time genuinely possible."
  – Robert Paul Wolff, emeritus professor of philosophy, University of Massachusetts Amherst, author of In Defense of Anarchism

“In this book Campbell and Crittenden present a powerful and demanding argument, one that forces anyone interested in democracy to consider the viability of approaches to truly genuine forms of direct participation.”
  – Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism and Co-Chair of The Next System Project

178 pages; 2019

Table of Contents

  • Introduction;
  • Chapter One: A Democracy or a Republic;
  • Chapter Two: Democracy in Earlier America;
  • Chapter Three: What’s Wrong with Initiatives?;
  • Chapter Four: Autonomy and Deliberation;
  • Chapter Five: Legislative Juries;
  • Chapter Six: The Power of Dialogue and Deliberation;
  • Chapter Seven: Civic and Democratic Education;
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