Although liberal democratic polities have an important place in contemporary politics, their justification is contentious. Liberalism and democracy are commonly thought to be inconsistent, or at least in tension with one another; and the reality of liberal democracy is perceived as falling far short of the ideal. In Political Morality, Richard Vernon sets out to show that liberal democracy can make sense as a single political conception, rather than a trade-off between two different values. He also argues that in conceiving of liberal democracy as proposed, other problems inherent in liberalism and in democracy are eased; liberal democracy is not exposed to the same objections as liberalism and it can avoid some of the paradoxes that are said to plague democratic theory. The book also points to some of the ways in which polities currently termed 'liberal democracies' fall clearly short of the values that might legitimize them.
'Vernon offers an intricate and replete discussion of the concept of liberal democracy and the ins and outs of the relationships between various conceptions of liberalism and democracy. A good choice for college and research libraries, the book would be suitable for faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates' - Choice, September 2002--J. Stauder "CHOICE "