Citizenship after Trump : Democracy versus Authoritarianism in a Post-Pandemic Era book cover
1st Edition

Citizenship after Trump
Democracy versus Authoritarianism in a Post-Pandemic Era

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 22, 2022
ISBN 9781032214825
April 22, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

In Citizenship after Trump, political theorists Bradley S. Klein and Scott G. Nelson explore the meaning of community in the context of intense political polarization, the surge of far-right nationalism and deepening divisions during the coronavirus pandemic.

With both Trumpism and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic greatly testing American democracy, the authors examine the political, economic and cultural challenges that remain after the Trump administration’s exceedingly inept leadership response. They explore the promise and limits of democracy relative to long-standing traditions of American political thought. The book argues that all Americans to consider the claims of citizenship amidst the forces consolidating today around narrow conceptions of race, nation, ethnicity and religion – each of which imperils the institutions of democracy and strikes at the heart of the country’s political culture. Chapters on the media, political economy, fascism and social democracy, question what Americans have gotten so wrong, politically, and considers what kind of vision can lead the country out of a truly dangerous impasse in the years ahead.

Citizenship after Trump constitutes a valuable and timely resource for self-critical analysis and will stimulate focused discussions about as-of-yet unexplored regions of America’s political history.

Table of Contents


1. Dynamics of the Current Impasse

2. Social Distancing as Civic Virtue

3. Media

4. The Elusiveness of Fascism

5. Social Democracy

6. Pandenomics

7. Beyond a Momentary Intervention


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Bradley S. Klein is a freelance journalist and landscape architecture design consultant. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Massachusetts and taught political theory and international relations for many years before pursuing an award-winning career in journalism. He has held research grants at the Free University of Berlin and the Australian National University and lectured and consulted across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He is the author of Strategic Studies and World Order (1994) and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters in political and social theory and international relations. He is also the author of nine books on golf course landscapes and thousands of articles on golf, sports and culture. His blog covers everyday politics and culture in the pandemic era.

Scott G. Nelson is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech where he teaches political theory and political economy. He received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. He is the author of Sovereignty and the Limits of the Liberal Imagination (Routledge, 2010), and co-editor of the Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Theory, Modern Power, World Politics: Critical Investigations (2016). He has published articles in such journals as Philosophy and Social Criticism, International Relations Theory, New Political Science, and Polity. He is currently completing a co-authored book (with Joel T. Shelton) entitled The Political Economy of Statecraft.


"This volume is a passionate and eloquent warning about the dangers of Trumpism and the governance failures that killed hundreds and thousands in the COVID pandemic. A must read for anyone who cares about the future of democracy and citizenship."

Simon Dalby, Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

"Combining impassioned concern for democracy and the public good with careful scholarship and perceptive observation, Klein and Nelson implore us to think about where the United States might be headed in the wake of the mendacity and incompetence of the Trump administration. In common with the traditions of the public intellectual, they put political theory to use to argue for the restoration of a progressive democratic common sense. With nuance and sensitivity to the indeterminacy of the political and the fragility of democratic political cultures, they combine analysis of the Covid pandemic, the Trump administration, and the rise of right-wing media, with examination of the longer-term and deeper trends in the American polity that have distorted and impoverished the public world. They worry – as should all who care about democracy – about the future of democracy, but at the same time offer hope for revival of a vibrant democratic public culture. This is an important book that echoes the work of the best American public intellectuals."

Stephen Rosow, Professor of Politics, State University of New York at Oswego

"This is an important deep dive into the meaning of community and citizenship at a time when the far right seeks to incite hate and division."

Jennifer Cohn, Election security advocate and writer