How Civility Works (Paperback)

How Civility Works By Keith J. Bybee Cover Image

How Civility Works (Paperback)


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Is civility dead? Americans ask this question every election season, but their concern is hardly limited to political campaigns. Doubts about civility regularly arise in just about every aspect of American public life. Rudeness runs rampant. Our news media is saturated with aggressive bluster and vitriol. Our digital platforms teem with trolls and expressions of disrespect. Reflecting these conditions, surveys show that a significant majority of Americans believe we are living in an age of unusual anger and discord. Everywhere we look, there seems to be conflict and hostility, with shared respect and consideration nowhere to be found. In a country that encourages thick skins and speaking one's mind, is civility even possible, let alone desirable?

In How Civility Works, Keith J. Bybee elegantly explores the "crisis" in civility, looking closely at how civility intertwines with our long history of boorish behavior and the ongoing quest for pleasant company. Bybee argues that the very features that make civility ineffective and undesirable also point to civility's power and appeal. Can we all get along? If we live by the contradictions on which civility depends, then yes, we can, and yes, we should.

Keith J. Bybee is the Paul E. and the Hon. Joanne F. Alper '72 Judiciary Studies Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University and their Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Distinguished Lecturer for 2016-2017. He is the author of several books, including All Judges Are Political--Except When They Are Not (Stanford, 2010).
Product Details ISBN: 9781503601543
ISBN-10: 1503601544
Publisher: Stanford Briefs
Publication Date: September 7th, 2016
Pages: 88
Language: English