What Does It Mean to Be a Citizen?   /   Fall 2008   /    Reviews

Jason A. Scorza’s Strong Liberalism

Scott Nesbit

In Strong Liberalism, Jason A. Scorza suggests that “the question facing liber- als” during an open-ended war on terror “continues to be whether democracy can be made stronger and more secure without undermining the fundamental purposes and prohibitions of liberalism” (193). His timely account suggests that liberals should attend more closely to what he calls the “inner life of politics” in order to take advantage of the stabilizing pos- sibilities inherent in pluralism.

Examining these possibilities is espe- cially necessary in the face of stultify- ing anxieties that inhere within modern political life—anxieties that take the form of fear of extraordinary oppression and anarchy, as well as the more ordinary fears of acting in the public realm. These fears produce not only political apathy, but the everyday experience of politics as “an empire of fear,” to be avoided.

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