The Paradox of Democracy and Higher Education
At the heart of democracy lies a paradox. Democracy is dependent upon citizen participation, but if citizens, exercising the freedom that democracy permits, choose not to participate in the political life of the society, democracy by definition ceases to exist. That paradox confronts higher education today. The question for faculty is how to explore the foundations of civic responsibility in ways that productively acknowledge the paradoxes and the requirements of democratic life in ways that compellingly prepare our students for the civic commitments that they will need to exhibit.