Part I Constitutional Commitments
Chapter 1 Our Modest Unity: Rights, Inclusion, and Dissent
Chapter 2 The Voluntary Groups Requirement: Rehabilitating the Right of Association
Chapter 3 The Public Forum Requirement: Public Spaces, Private Forums, and Parks & Recreation
Chapter 4 The Public Funding Requirement: Tax Exemptions, Student Forums, and Government Orthodoxies
Part II Civic Practices
Chapter 5 Civic Aspirations: Tolerance, Humility, and Patience
Chapter 6 Living Speech: Rising above Insults and Bullying
Chapter 7 Collective Action: Protests, Boycotts, and Strikes
Chapter 8 Common Ground: Relationships across Difference
"Into this polluted political atmosphere comes a different sort of academic. Inazu is proposing a national cleanup effort to make our public life more pleasant and productive....We should not downplay the stakes. Tolerance, humility and patience are not the ornaments of a democracy, they are its essence.”
"The 2016 presidential election, assuming both Clinton and Trump are the nominees, may well be the ugliest and most vicious election many of us will have ever seen. There’s no easy or quick way out of this. It will require some large number of Americans to re-think how we are to engage in politics in this era of rage and polarization. Toward that end, Inazu has written Confident Pluralism. It’s so unfashionable, so unrealistic, so out of touch. It’s chic to be cynical. Except for this: Disagreeing with others, even passionately disagreeing with others, without rhetorically vaporizing them is actually part of what it means to live as citizens in a republic. The choice is co-existence with some degree of mutual respect—or the politics of resentment and disaffection, the politics of hate and de-humanization."
"Inazu’s book should be read by all who desire a more civil, thoughtful society than the one in which we find ourselves."
Canon & Culture
"American society is becoming increasingly diverse. As that happens, the public square becomes a crowded, and sometimes hostile, place. At times it seems there is no longer room for meaningful public debate. Inazu sets forth a framework for public square engagement that allows citizens to live according to their convictions while actively participating in a diverse society."
"One of the great virtues of Inazu’s work is that it attends to both culture and institutions. Confident Pluralism both prescribes the kinds of institutional and legal changes that would protect the groups and associations that make genuine pluralism possible, and it describes the habits and inclinations that would make those institutions effective."
Mike Gerson, Washington Post columnist
“Every once in a while, a book comes along that perfectly suits a cultural moment – not by reflecting the prevailing ethos, but by challenging it at the deepest level.”
Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core
"Much of the discourse around diversity these days highlights the differences that people like. For progressives, this often involves talk of women, people of color and LGBTQ identities. For conservatives, religious orthodoxies of varying hues are the favored subjects. Confident Pluralism unabashedly raises a much harder, and more interesting, question: how do we think about diversity when it involves the differences we don’t like?”
John C. Danforth, former United States senator and former ambassador to the United Nations
“Inazu addresses a question as old as our republic and as current as protests in Ferguson: with such strongly felt differences, how can Americans live together as one people? In words both scholarly and inspiring, he confronts the notion that we serve the good of the whole when we silence voices of the few. As a law professor, he argues for stronger legal protections for dissenting groups; as a concerned citizen, he calls on us to listen to and respect those with whom we strongly disagree. In this age of rants on social media and campus speech norms, Inazu shows us the way towards a more inclusive and tolerant nation. Confident Pluralism is important reading for our time.”
Michael W. McConnell, Stanford Law School
“Too many people view the freedom to pursue one’s beliefs and associations as important to their own interests, but not for the sake of others. In this timely book, Inazu shows how all people, even those with deep-seated disagreements, can benefit from these freedoms and live together in civil society.”
Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia
“Inazu’s Confident Pluralism is a remarkable book that grabs by the throat the most profound problem we face: the question of whether we can live truly with each other, not merely alongside each other, in situations where we genuinely feel most alienated from, and even threatened by, one another’s beliefs or behaviors. With a good lawyer’s acuity and a committed citizen’s painful honestly, Inazu probes for the places where our differences are most tender—race, religion, sexuality—and demands that we address those concerns for what they are. Inazu ultimately hopes—as all our best public thinkers have hoped—for more from us than just resigned indifference. The book’s real bravery means it will make almost all of its readers uncomfortable at different points, and its admirable ambition means that it takes that discomfort as an inevitable, if unintended, consequence of its aims.”
William Baude, University of Chicago Law School
"Confident Pluralism is important both as a theoretical book and as a practical one. Inazu’s unusually thoughtful treatment builds on theories of pluralism to show how contemporary legal doctrine and civic engagement can and should put that pluralism into practice.”
Ken Stern, former CEO of NPR and president and co-founder of Palisades Media
"We are a nation that has become deaf to the other side, to the possibility that 'the other' has insights, belief, ideas, or values worth recognizing and considering. So good for Inazu, in his fine new book Confident Pluralism, for taking on the issue and beginning to create a legal framework to understand how we might move the country back to a place where it was acceptable to disagree and a public necessity to occasionally entertain the idea that the other side might have a perspective worth considering.”
Michael Wear, author of Reclaiming Hope
"These are not confident times. The stridency of today’s rhetoric, the desperate certitude, and the emotional tribalism of our politics and public square betray a deep lack of confidence, and threaten to turn the strength of America’s diversity into a weakness. It is for this reason that Confident Pluralism is right on time.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu