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Constitutional Democracy Under Stress
Constitutional Democracy Under Stress

Constitutional Democracy Under Stress

A Time For Heroic Citizenship

Edited by Peter L Biro


448 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $29.95 (US $29.95) (CA $35.00)

Publication Date: August 2020

ISBN 9781771614801

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

Mosaic Press (Aug 2020)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $29.95


". . . [A] most timely and significant book": The Honourable Irwin Cotler, former Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada. Calling it a ". . .remarkable book", writer and Moral Courage College Founder, Irshad Manji, observes that ". . . the contributors not only call for 'heroic citizenship', they show us how to practice it." Our age marks a departure, by governments throughout the west, from the norms that had come to define advanced, liberal democracies in the post-war period. Alas, western democracies are everywhere backsliding and retreating from their adherence to these values and institutions. The essays in this volume probe the sources and malaise now confronting liberal constitutional democracy. However, they go much further. Many of the essays are, indeed, roadmaps for a realistic and cultivated response to our present condition. The clues for a rehabilitated democracy are found here both analytically and prescriptively. The book is organized into discrete Parts that take the reader from an assessment of the crisis (The Retreat of Liberal Democracy), through an expose of the core operating principles (The Gold Standard: Liberal Democracy's Basic Values), the stresses on the system (The Basic Values Under Pressure), the social psychology of democracy (The Democratic Attitude of Mind), social media's impact (The Internet's Challenges for Democracy), the future of elections (Data and Democratic Decision-Making) and civic engagement and activism (Heroic Citizenship in Spirit and Action). The contributors include a cross-section of acclaimed scholars, activists, cultural creators, entrepreneurs, jurists, public servants, and more. Among the 27 distinguished contributors to this volume are Canada's former Attorney General and Justice Minister and human rights lawyer, Irwin Cotler; pre-eminent primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall; former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Thomas Axworthy; former Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley; Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Alison Harvison-Young; Globe and Mail Asia correspondent, Nathan VanderKlippe, acclaimed public policy scholar, Irvin Studin, Massey college Principal, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Mosaic Institute CEO, Akaash Maharaj, and writer, social activist and theologian, Mary Jo Leddy. These essays point to an enlightened, bold and dutiful citizenship as being essential to the vitality and, indeed, the viability, of a sustainable, just, free and vibrant democracy.Peter L. Biro is a lawyer, NGO leader, writer, corporate CEO and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the Founder of, a civil society and civics education initiative dedicated to the cultivation of an engaged, liberal democratic citizenship. He lives in Toronto.

Author Biography

Peter L. Biro is the Founder of, Chair Emeritus of the Jane Goodall Institute Global, CEO of Newcon Optik and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has published and lectured widely on legal and political affairs and has been an outspoken advocate for civics education, civil liberties, human rights, wildlife conservation and animal welfare. He is a lawyer, and was, for over two decades, a leading member of the litigation and employment law bars of Ontario.