Democracy can mean a range of concepts, including freedoms, rights, elections, governments, processes, philosophies and a panoply of abstract and concrete notions that can be mediated by power, positionality, culture, time and space. Democracy can also be translated into brute force, hegemony, docility, compliance and conformity, as in wars will be decided on the basis of the needs of elites, or major decisions about spending finite resources will be the domain of the few over the masses, or people will be divided along the lines of race, ethnicity, class, religion, etc. because it is advantageous for maintaining exploitative political systems in place to do so. Often, these frameworks are developed and reified based on the notion that elections give the right to societies, or segment of societies, to install regimes, institutions and operating systems that are then supposedly legitimated and rendered infinitely just simply because formal power resides in the hands of those dominating forces.

The book is interested in advancing a critical analysis of the hegemonic paradigm described above, one that seeks higher levels of political literacy and consciousness, and one that makes the connection with education. What does education have to do with democracy? How does education shape, influence, impinge on, impact, negate, facilitate and/or change the context, contours and realities of democracy? How can we teach for and about democracy to alter and transform the essence of what democracy is, and, importantly, what it should be?

We are particularly interested in the notion of decency in relation to democracy, and underpinned by forms of meaningful, critically-engaged education. Is it enough to be kind, nice, generous and hopeful when we can also see signs of rampant, entrenched and debilitating racism, sexism, poverty, violence, injustice, war and other social inequalities? If democracy is intended to be a legitimating force for good, how does education inform democracy? What types of knowledge, experience, analysis and being are helpful to bring about newer, more meaningful and socially just forms of democracy?

Some of the themes to be explored might include:

  • peace, peace education and democracy
  • media, media literacy and democracy
  • pedagogy and education for democracy
  • curriculum and education for democracy
  • race, anti-racist education and democracy
  • poverty, class and education for democracy
  • environment and ecology within the context of democracy and education
  • the meaning of kindness in relation to democracy and education
  • what is decency within the context of democracy and education?

If you are interested in submitting a chapter, please submit the following to by September 30, 2014:

1)    a 400-word summary of your proposal, including:

  1. title
  2. focus and research questions
  3. the connection to the subject of the book
  4. the theoretical and/or conceptualframework
  5. the major themes to beexplored
  6. other pertinent information

2)    8 keywords for the chapter

3)    a 100-word biography for each author


1)    Call for Proposals (August 25, 2014)

2)    Receive Proposals (September 30, 2014)

3)    Communicate with contributors regarding decision on proposals (October 15, 2014)

4)    First complete draft of 5,000 words due (January 15, 2015)

5)    Comments from editors regarding first draft to contributors (Februrary 15, 2015)

6)    Final complete draft due to editors (April 1, 2015)

7)    Review by editors, and follow-up with contributors (May 1, 2015)

8)    Liaison with publisher for final editing and proofing (May 15, 2015)

9)    Publication (Summer 2015)

For all other inquiries about this book, please contact Paul R. Carr at

One comment


    Good morning, Paul,   For a little over a year, I’ve read your blog – the becoming radical – quite frequently.  Like you, I have a long K-12 career before transitioning as a career as a college professor.  For the last 19 years of my 39-year K-12 experience, I served as a superintendent of schools.  I have been an assistant professor at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey for the past three and a half years teaching graduate classes in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program.  I enjoy reading your blog and have shared your thoughts with others with whom I work and teach.     I admire the book that your peers and you are developing.  Even though I recognize the amount of thought you have put into the effort, I will offer a couple of thoughts for your consideration.  Have you considered a chapter on the ethical dimensions of democracy, or is this concept included in one of the other chapters?  Also, have you considered a chapter on sustainability, referring to sustaining the process of democracy in schools, once the concept is developed and implemented?   Or, is this concept included in another chapter?   I also offer a book that a good friend of mine co-authored.  It is related, and the information on the book is:

    Goldman-Walker, Sharron and Chirichello, Michael. (2011). Principals as Maverick Leaders: Rethinking Democratic Schools. Lanham, Maryland. Rowman and Littlefield Education, a Division of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

    Michel Chirichello has been a good friend for a number of years.  As me, he is a retired superintendent of schools and currently works with the Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University.  I’ve forwarded your blog entry to Michael in case he might be interested in submitting an article for your consideration.  Thank you for all of the work you do on behalf of education.  And, I wish you the best with your book, George   George F. Sharp, Ed.D. Assistant Professor of Education The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey    

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