New Book Focuses On Tolerance

“Democracies cultivate and defend difference, but difference – if strategically harnessed – can traumatize democracy.” *

Put another way, how does a democracy tolerate the intolerant?  This is the question Dr. William M. Downs explores in his new book: Political Extremism in Democracies: Combating Intolerance*.   Dr. Downs is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean for the Social & Behavioral Sciences.  With a focus on tolerance he compares   several political parties operating in selected European countries that have been labeled fringe or,  according to Downs, pariah parties, and then explores the mainstream response to these groups.

Dr. Downs  presents the ideas in his book in a very approachable manner. In fact, as I prepared this posting and started to study the book I ended up checking it out! I should have it back to the Library late next week, but while you are waiting you can check out Dr. Downs other book: Coalition government, subnational style: multiparty politics in Europe’s regional parliaments.

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