The Communitarian PersuasionBook - 2002
The communitarian movement aims to balance the individual liberties prized by modernity with the health of the community in which those liberties are exercised. The movement arose in 1980s America-a society asserting, on the left, personal self-realization and, on the right, unrestrained capitalism and distrust of government, both sides assailing social institutions.
In The Communitarian Persuasion esteemed thinker Philip Selznick shows how the communitarian response to such pressures is not opposition but integration. "Communities have this remarkable feature: they build upon and are nourished by other unities, which are persons, groups, practices, and institutions. What we prize in community is not unity of any sort at any price, but unity that preserves the integrity of the parts."
Selznick situates communitarianism as a public philosophy and relates the communitarian project to key social and political questions raised by the recent transformations of modern life. He also reflects on the appropriate demands of the common good and on religious faith's contributions to community. Readers new to communitarian ideas and readers long acquainted with them will find The Communitarian Persuasion well worth their attention.