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Hope as a Democratic Civic Virtue

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Against the backdrop of the recent emergence of disturbing currents of populism in several countries, including the United States, this article argues for a conception of hope as a democratic civic virtue. In section 1, it offers a general overview of hope and sketches an initial conception of hope as a democratic civic virtue. In section 2, the stage is set for further theorizing of this conception in the present American context. Drawing on the work of Ghassan Hage, the article makes the point that the United States is in the process of becoming a nation of worriers in part because of the failure of the government to distribute social hope. Section 3 fleshes out what hope as a democratic civic virtue could look like in the United States today. Section 4 concludes with brief comments about theorizing civic hope in the context of a modified pragmatism.
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Keywords: civic virtue; democracy; hope; modified pragmatism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2018

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