The New Communitarians and the Crisis of Modern Liberalism, by Bruce Frohnen, Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1996.
Community and Tradition: Conservative Perspectives on the American Experience, edited by George W. Carey and Bruce Frohnen, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998.
Communitarianism at one level is a contemporary school of thought that takes to task liberalism as a political theory. As such, one might expect communitarianism to be in fundamental sympathy with conservative critiques of liberalism. But such is not necessarily the case. The communitarians constitute an eclectic group, including among their number Harvard government professor Michael Sandel, Maryland political theorist William Galston, McGill philosopher Charles Taylor, George Washington sociologist Amitai Etzioni, and Berkeley sociologist Robert Bellah. All share the view that individuals are constituted by a complex set of communal attachments and dispositions and that any attempt to describe human beings as outgrowths of an abstract, individualist “state of nature” are fundamentally misleading and doomed to failure. [Read more...]