I’m Corey Brettschneider, Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where I teach courses in political theory and public law. I am also Professor, by courtesy, of Philosophy. I work at the intersection of constitutional law and democratic theory.

This site collects my books, articles, and dialogues with other writers.

Books

When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?
How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality
Princeton University Press, 2012

How should a liberal democracy respond to hate groups and others that oppose the ideal of free and equal citizenship? The democratic state faces the hard choice of either protecting the rights of hate groups and allowing their views to spread, or banning their views and violating citizens’ rights to freedoms of expression, association, and religion. Avoiding the familiar yet problematic responses to these issues, political theorist Corey Brettschneider proposes a new approach called value democracy. The theory of value democracy argues that the state should protect the right to express illiberal beliefs, but the state should also engage in democratic persuasion when it speaks through its various expressive capacities: publicly criticizing, and giving reasons to reject, hate-based or other discriminatory viewpoints.

Distinguishing between two kinds of state action–expressive and coercive–Brettschneider contends that public criticism of viewpoints advocating discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation should be pursued through the state’s expressive capacities as speaker, educator, and spender. When the state uses its expressive capacities to promote the values of free and equal citizenship, it engages in democratic persuasion. By using democratic persuasion, the state can both respect rights and counter hateful or discriminatory viewpoints. Brettschneider extends this analysis from freedom of expression to the freedoms of religion and association, and he shows that value democracy can uphold the protection of these freedoms while promoting equality for all citizens. Click here to buy on Amazon.

Democratic RightsDemocratic Rights
The Substance of Self-Government
Princeton University Press, 2010

When the Supreme Court in 2003 struck down a Texas law prohibiting homosexual sodomy, it cited the right to privacy based on the guarantee of “substantive due process” embodied by the Constitution. But did the court act undemocratically by overriding the rights of the majority of voters in Texas? Scholars often point to such cases as exposing a fundamental tension between the democratic principle of majority rule and the liberal concern to protect individual rights. Democratic Rights challenges this view by showing that, in fact, democracy demands many of these rights.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

 Case Books

Constitutional Law and American DemocracyConstitutional Law and American Democracy
Wolters Kluwer, 2011
A new approach to constitutional law that ties cases to the most salient and controversial debates in our polity today, Constitutional Law and American Democracy presents a wide selection of carefully selected readings and cases that create a compelling, nuanced view of current key political and constitutional issues and interpretive approaches and problems through engaging topics of especially high interest to students.

Click here to buy or request a free faculty copy.

 
 

Civil Rights and LibertiesCivil Rights and Liberties
Wolters Kluwer, 2013
Extensive, intriguing excerpts from a highly focused set of cases and other readings from contemporary theory highlight conflicting opinions among the justices on specific controversies such as abortion, gay rights, and hate speech. A multidimensional perspective draws on a wide array of resources such as case excerpts, concurring and dissenting opinions, law journal and articles, general publications, published letters, and other documents.

Click here to buy or request a free faculty copy.

 
 

Governmental PowersGovernmental Powers
Wolters Kluwer, 2014
Extensive, intriguing excerpts from a highly focused set of cases and other readings from contemporary theory highlight conflicting opinions among the justices on specific controversies such as abortion, gay rights, and hate speech. A multidimensional perspective draws on a wide array of resources such as case excerpts, concurring and dissenting opinions, law journal and articles, general publications, published letters, and other documents.

Click here to buy or request a free faculty copy.

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