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The mission of Democracy is to build a vibrant and vital progressivism for the twenty-first century that builds on the movement’s proud history, is true to its central values, and is relevant to present times.
Democracy will publish on a quarterly basis and serve as a place where ideas can be developed and important debates can be spurred.
We do not seek to publish policy papers; we’ll leave the important details on budget line items and dollar figures to others. Rather, we seek breakthrough thinking on the concepts and approaches that respond to the central transformations of our time: the breakdown of the ladder of upward mobility; the promise and problems of an information-based, globalized economy; new national security threats which cross old boundaries and defy old assumptions from jihadist terrorism and nuclear proliferation to climate change, pandemics, and poverty; and a society where people work and live in new and different ways.
Progressives have been at their best when we are both rigorous in looking at the world as it is and vigorous in introducing creative approaches to remake the world as we believe it should be. Democracy is not interested in either reiterating the conventional wisdom or maintaining unity around outdated orthodoxies. We see our role as upsetting tired assumptions, moving past outdated and obsolete divisions, and stretching the envelope of what is accepted by and of progressives.
Our ambitions are large – as is the scale of the work before us – but we have no doubt that ideas can change the course of our nation. Now is the time to fashion a new progressivism for the twenty-first century, and we welcome all who are willing to join in this conversation.
Read the Editors’ introductory letter from Issue 1.
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Events
Bold and Nimble: A 21st-Century Case for Ambitious Government
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas: Join us for a discussion of Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer’s “The ‘More What, Less How’ Government” on March 9 at NDN. Liu and Hanauer will be joined by Michael Lind of the New America Foundation, Megan McArdle of The Atlantic, and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. Click here to RSVP.
News
Shadi Hamid on “The Cairo Conundrum”
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas: In our Winter 2010 issue, Shadi Hamid wrote of the dilemma confronting the U.S. in Egypt. His closing lines: “Egyptians, along with Arabs and Muslims throughout the region, have demonstrated their desire for substantive political change. It is time we did the same.”
News
Read Gene Sperling’s Essay on “Rising-Tide Economics” from Our Fall 2007 Issue
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas: President Obama today announced the appointment of Gene Sperling as the new director of the National Economic Council. Readers who are wondering what to expect from Sperling can find their answer in the pages of this journal.
Features
First Principles: The Role of Government
Michael Tomasky: Progressives aren’t going to give up on government because of one election. A strong role for the federal government as incubator, nurturer, and watchdog is central to the progressive vision of society.
Features
Enemies of State
Rick Perlstein: Historically, nothing has terrified conservatives so much as efficient, effective, activist government.
Features
Why Conservatives Won’t Govern
Alan Wolfe: Rather than using government badly out of a conviction that it always fails, they now refuse to allow government to do its work at all.
Features
The “More What, Less How” Government
Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer: What is government for? Over the last two years, this has been the dominant question of American politics. Yet so few leaders have offered coherent answers.

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