Why has climate change been so difficult to address through democratic institutions and processes? The SSRC’s Anxieties of Democracy program established a working group to engage this question. Robert O. Keohane and Nancy L. Rosenblum, cochairs of the working group, provide a sense of the issues that have animated its work thus far: mobilization for climate change, the politics of mitigation strategies, and the often neglected role of emotion in democratic participation.
Nancy L. Rosenblum
Nancy L. Rosenblum is the Senator Joseph Clark Research Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government at Harvard University. Her field of research is historical and contemporary political thought. Her latest book, Good Neighbors: The Democracy of Everyday Life in America, was published by Princeton University Press in 2016. On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship (Princeton University Press, 2010) received the Walter Channing Cabot Fellow Award from Harvard in 2010 for scholarly eminence. She is the author, among other books, of Membership and Morals: The Personal Uses of Pluralism in America (Princeton University Press, 1998), which was awarded the APSA David Easton Prize in 2000. Her recent edited works include Breaking the Cycles of Hatred: Memory, Law, and Repair (with Martha Minow; Princeton University Press, 2002), Obligations of Citizenship and Demands of Faith: Religious Accommodation in Pluralist Democracies (Princeton University Press, 2002), and Civil Society and Government (coedited with Robert Post; Princeton University Press, 2002). She is editor of Thoreau: Political Writings, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. Rosenblum is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. She is past president of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, past vice president of the American Political Science Association, and a past board member of the Russell Sage Foundation. She is coeditor of the Annual Review of Political Science. She served as chair of the Harvard Department of Government from 2004 to 2011.
Nancy Rosenblum’s Items contribution is based on her response to Charles Taylor’s October Roosevelt House lecture, "Ways Democracy Can Slip Away," and also appears in The Democracy Papers. A member of the Anxieties of Democracy program’s Advisory Committee, Rosenblum reflects on Taylor’s arguments through the lenses of history and political philosophy. She ends on a note of contingent hope, emphasizing that democracy’s contemporary vulnerabilities are related to genuine advances in the quality of democracy over time.