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Dialogue — Democracy according to John Dewey and Walter Lippmann

Democracy under Pressure: A Lippmann-Dewey Dialog


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1Democracy is deliberation and discussion: Walter Lippmann and John Dewey gave a formidable illustration of the dignity of the democratic debate through their writings. The two essays presented here illustrate the relevance of their thinking to understand the challenges of twenty-first century democracy. Both should be read as introductions to the works of two giants who eminently contributed to the American intellectual tradition and who enlighten democratic theory and practice.

2Dr Regalzi’s essay is an overview of Lippmann’s thinking in the crucial years between the two World Wars with his skeptic reappraisal of the foundations of representative democracy as a focal point. Dr Di Mascio’s essay focuses on Dewey’s plea in favor of a new form of individualism that is not content with the liberty of the moderns but advocates participation in the life of the polity to face the challenge of the mass age and of a market society.

3Both papers stand at the intersection of research and teaching as Dr Francesco Regalzi’s article is the written version of his April 21, 2011 LERMA/Aix-Marseille Université lecture following the publication of his intellectual biography of Lippmann (Regalzi 2010) and Dr Patrick Di Mascio’s article is the provisional conclusion of a Master’s Degree research seminar on Dewey’s individualism held at the English Department of Aix-Marseille Université with Human Sciences students.

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Electronic reference

Patrick DI MASCIO, “Democracy under Pressure: A Lippmann-Dewey Dialog”E-rea [Online], 9.2 | 2012, Online since 15 March 2012, connection on 17 October 2021. URL:; DOI:

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