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With:A Strategy for Renewing Our Democracy

394 pages
Kettering Foundation Press

Government of the people, by the people, for the people? Today, many have lost confidence not just in governments but in most institutions involved in governing the country, in fields from the media and public administration to education and health. And institutions have often lost confidence in the ability of citizens to govern themselves.

Maybe we ought to add another word to of, by, and for. Could we try governing more with the people, seeing them not just as voters and volunteers in good causes but also as citizens who are producers of much that makes life better for everyone? Producers generate their own power to make a difference when they act in collaboration with institutions and their professionals. And elected officials might begin to build a less contentious relationship with constituents if people were to see themselves as coproducers in governing the country.

David Mathews takes readers inside the government and other institutions to see where such collaboration has been possible and where barriers have stood in the way.

In the United States, we certainly aren't all alike, and we may not even like one another. Yet to have the future we want, we need one another. With is about recognizing the abilities and resources we already possess to act on that insight.

About the Kettering Foundation

The Kettering Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research. Kettering’s primary research question is: What does it take to make democracy work as it should? Kettering’s research is distinctive because it is conducted from the perspective of citizens and focuses on what people can do collectively to address problems affecting their lives, their communities, and their nation. For more information about Kettering research and publications, see the Kettering Foundation’s website at www.kettering.org.

Author Bio
David Mathews served as president of the Kettering Foundation from 1981 to 2022. He is now president emeritus. He was Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Ford administration and taught history at the University of Alabama, where he was president from 1969 to 1980. Mathews has written extensively on Southern history, public policy, community problem solving, education, and international relations. His books include Politics for People: Finding a Responsible Public Voice; The Ecology of Democracy: Finding Ways to Have a Stronger Hand in Shaping Our Future; With the People: An Introduction to an Idea; Together: Building Better, Stronger Communities; and With: A Strategy for Renewing Our Democracy.