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Thomas, N. L. (Ed). Educating for Deliberative Democracy: New Directions for Higher Education, No. 152. Jossey-Bass, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-1180-3245-9. Pages: 112.
In the latest publication of the quarterly series New Directions for Higher Education, the capacity of American higher education institutions to serve as laboratories promoting democratic civility is addressed. The book asserts that universities have a role to play in the advancement of deliberative democracy, whereby active discourse in local, regional, national and international affairs builds civic capacity and political tolerance. The book stresses that greater awareness of the importance of academic freedom needs to be made by various actors (i.e. institutional leaders, professors, students and the general public) in order to fully realise and impact the greater public discourse, which extends out of the higher education arena and into broader political, social and cultural realms. In addition, future steps related to higher education’s role in this area are offered.