Radical centrism(Redirected from Radical center (politics))
The terms radical centrism, radical center (or radical centre) and radical middle refer to a political ideology that arose in the Western nations in the late 20th century. At first it was defined in a variety of ways, but at the beginning of the 21st century a number of political science texts gave it a more developed cast.
The "radical" in the term refers to a willingness on the part of most radical centrists to call for fundamental reform of institutions. The "centrism" refers to a belief that genuine solutions require realism and pragmatism, not just idealism and emotion. Thus one radical centrist text defines radical centrism as "idealism without illusions", a phrase originally from John F. Kennedy.
Most radical centrists borrow what they see as good ideas from left, right and wherever else they may be found, often melding them together. Most support market-based solutions to social problems with strong governmental oversight in the public interest. There is support for increased global engagement and the growth of an empowered middle class in developing countries. Many radical centrists work within the major political parties, but also support independent or third-party initiatives and candidacies.
Radical centrism has received criticism. One common criticism is that radical centrist policies are only marginally different from conventional centrist policies. Another criticism is that the radical centrist penchant for third parties is naive and self-defeating. Some observers see radical centrism as primarily a process of catalyzing dialogue and fresh thinking among polarized people and groups.
Influences and precursorsEdit
Some influences on radical centrist political philosophy are not directly political. Robert C. Solomon, a philosopher with radical-centrist interests, identifies a number of philosophical concepts supporting balance, reconciliation or synthesis, including Confucius's concept of ren, Aristotle's concept of the mean, Erasmus's and Montaigne's humanism, Vico's evolutionary vision of history, William James's and John Dewey's pragmatism,[nb 1] as well as Aurobindo Ghose's integration of opposites.[nb 2]
However, most commonly cited influences and precursors are from the political realm. For example, British radical-centrist politician Nick Clegg considers himself an heir to political theorist John Stuart Mill, former Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George, economist John Maynard Keynes, social reformer William Beveridge and former Liberal Party leader Jo Grimond. In his book Independent Nation (2004), John Avlon discusses precursors of 21st-century U.S. political centrism, including President Theodore Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Margaret Chase Smith and African-American Senator Edward W. Brooke. Radical centrist writer Mark Satin points to political influences from outside the electoral arena, including communitarian thinker Amitai Etzioni, magazine publisher Charles Peters, management theorist Peter Drucker, city planning theorist Jane Jacobs and futurists Heidi and Alvin Toffler.[nb 3] Satin calls Benjamin Franklin the radical middle's favorite Founding Father since he was "extraordinarily practical", "extraordinarily creative" and managed to "get the warring factions and wounded egos [at the U.S. Constitutional Convention] to transcend their differences".
Late 20th century groundworkEdit
One of the first uses of the term "radical middle" in a political context came in 1962, when cartoonist Jules Feiffer employed it to mock what he saw as the timid and pretentious outlook of the American political class.[nb 4] One of the first people to develop a positive definition was Renata Adler, a staff writer for The New Yorker. In the introduction to her second collection of essays, Toward a Radical Middle (1969), she presented radical centrism as a healing radicalism. Adler said it rejected the violent posturing and rhetoric of the 1960s in favor of such "corny" values as "reason, decency, prosperity, human dignity [and human] contact". She called for the "reconciliation" of the white working class and African-Americans.
In the 1970s, sociologist Donald I. Warren described the radical center as consisting of those "middle American radicals" who were suspicious of big government, the national media and academics, as well as rich people and predatory corporations. Although they might vote for Democrats or Republicans, or for populists like George Wallace, they felt politically homeless and were looking for leaders who would address their concerns.[nb 5]
In the 1980s and 1990s, several authors contributed their understandings to the concept of the radical center. For example, futurist Marilyn Ferguson added a holistic dimension to the concept when she said: "[The] Radical Center ... is not neutral, not middle-of-the-road, but a view of the whole road".[nb 6] Sociologist Alan Wolfe located the creative part of the political spectrum at the center: "The extremes of right and left know where they stand, while the center furnishes what is original and unexpected". African-American theorist Stanley Crouch upset many political thinkers when he pronounced himself a "radical pragmatist". Crouch explained: "I affirm whatever I think has the best chance of working, of being both inspirational and unsentimental, of reasoning across the categories of false division and beyond the decoy of race".
In his influential 1995 Newsweek cover story "Stalking the Radical Middle", journalist Joe Klein described radical centrists as angrier and more frustrated than conventional Democrats and Republicans. Klein said they share four broad goals: getting money out of politics, balancing the budget, restoring civility and figuring out how to run government better. He also said their concerns were fueling "what is becoming a significant intellectual movement, nothing less than an attempt to replace the traditional notions of liberalism and conservatism".[nb 7][nb 8]
Relations to "Third Way"Edit
In 1998, British sociologist Anthony Giddens claimed that the radical center is synonymous with the Third Way. For Giddens, an advisor to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and for many other European political actors, the Third Way is a reconstituted form of social democracy.
Some radical centrist thinkers do not equate radical centrism with the Third Way. In Britain, many do not see themselves as social democrats. Most prominently, British radical-centrist politician Nick Clegg has made it clear he does not consider himself an heir to Tony Blair and Richard Reeves, Clegg's longtime advisor, emphatically rejects social democracy.
In the United States, the situation is different because the term Third Way was adopted by the Democratic Leadership Council and other moderate Democrats. However, most U.S. radical centrists also avoid the term. Ted Halstead and Michael Lind's introduction to radical centrist politics fails to mention it and Lind subsequently accused the organized moderate Democrats of siding with the "center-right" and Wall Street. Radical centrists have expressed dismay with what they see as "split[ting] the difference", "triangulation" and other supposed practices of what some of them call the "mushy middle".[nb 9]
Twenty-first century overviewsEdit
The first years of the 21st century saw publication of four introductions to radical centrist politics: Ted Halstead and Michael Lind's The Radical Center (2001), Matthew Miller's The Two Percent Solution (2003), John Avlon's Independent Nation (2004) and Mark Satin's Radical Middle (2004). These books attempted to take the concept of radical centrism beyond the stage of "cautious gestures" and journalistic observation and define it as a political philosophy.
The authors came to their task from diverse political backgrounds: Avlon had been a speechwriter for New York Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Miller had been a business consultant before serving in President Bill Clinton's budget office; Lind had been an exponent of Harry Truman-style "national liberalism"; Halstead had run a think tank called Redefining Progress; and Satin had co-drafted the U.S. Green Party's foundational political statement, "Ten Key Values". However, there is a generational bond: all these authors were between 31 and 41 years of age when their books were published (except for Satin, who was nearing 60).
While the four books do not speak with one voice, among them they express assumptions, analyses, policies and strategies that helped set the parameters for radical centrism as a 21st-century political philosophy:
- Our problems cannot be solved by twiddling the dials; substantial reforms are needed in many areas.
- Solving our problems will not require massive infusions of new money.
- However, solving our problems will require drawing on the best ideas from left and right and wherever else they may be found.
- It will also require creative and original ideas – thinking outside the box.
- Such thinking cannot be divorced from the world as it is, or from tempered understandings of human nature. A mixture of idealism and realism is needed. "Idealism without realism is impotent", says John Avlon. "Realism without idealism is empty".
- North America and Western Europe have entered an Information Age economy, with new possibilities that are barely being tapped.
- In this new age, a plurality of people is neither liberal nor conservative, but independent and looking to move in a more appropriate direction.
- Nevertheless, the major political parties are committed to ideas developed in, and for, a different era; and are unwilling or unable to realistically address the future.
- Most people in the Information Age want to maximize the amount of choice they have in their lives.
- In addition, people are insisting that they be given a fair opportunity to succeed in the new world they are entering.
Policies (in general)Edit
- An overriding commitment to fiscal responsibility, even if it entails means-testing of social programs.
- An overriding commitment to reforming public education, whether by equalizing spending on school districts, offering school choice, hiring better teachers, or empowering the principals and teachers we have now.
- A commitment to market-based solutions in health care, energy, the environment, etc., so long as the solutions are carefully regulated by government to serve the public good. The policy goal, says Matthew Miller, is to "harness market forces for public purposes".
- A commitment to provide jobs for everyone willing to work, whether by subsidizing jobs in the private sector or by creating jobs in the public sector.
- A commitment to need-based rather than race-based affirmative action; more generally, a commitment to race-neutral ideals.
- A commitment to participate in institutions and processes of global governance; and be of genuine assistance to people in the developing nations.
- A new political majority can be built, whether it be seen to consist largely of Avlon's political independents, Satin's "caring persons", Miller's balanced and pragmatic individuals, or Halstead and Lind's triad of disaffected voters, enlightened business leaders, and young people.
- National political leadership is important; local and nonprofit activism is not enough.
- Political process reform is also important – for example, implementing rank-order voting in elections and providing free media time to candidates.
- A radical centrist party should be created, assuming one of the major parties cannot simply be won over by radical centrist thinkers and activists.[nb 10]
- In the meantime, particular independent, major-party or third-party candidacies should be supported.
Idea creation and disseminationEdit
Think tanks and mass mediaEdit
Several think tanks are developing radical centrist ideas more thoroughly than was done in the overview books. Among them are Demos in Britain; the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership in Australia; and New America (formerly the New America Foundation) in the United States. New America was started by authors Ted Halstead and Michael Lind, as well as two others, to bring radical centrist ideas to Washington, D.C. journalists and policy researchers.[nb 11]
A radical centrist perspective can also be found in major periodicals. In the United States, for example, The Washington Monthly was started by early radical centrist thinker Charles Peters[nb 12] and many large-circulation magazines publish articles by New America fellows. Columnists who write from a radical centrist perspective include John Avlon at The Daily Beast, Thomas Friedman at The New York Times, Joe Klein at Time magazine and Matthew Miller at The Washington Post. Prominent journalists James Fallows and Fareed Zakaria have been identified as radical centrists.
In Britain, the news magazine The Economist positions itself as radical centrist. An editorial ("leader") in 2012 declared in bolded type: "A new form of radical centrist politics is needed to tackle inequality without hurting economic growth". An essay on The Economist 's website the following year, introduced by the editor, argues that the magazine had always "com[e] ... from what we like to call the radical centre".
Books on specific topicsEdit
Many books are offering radical centrist perspectives and policy proposals on specific topics. Some examples:
- Foreign policy. In Ethical Realism (2006), British liberal Anatol Lieven and U.S. conservative John Hulsman advocate a foreign policy based on modesty, principle and seeing ourselves as others see us.
- Environmentalism. In Break Through (2007), environmental strategists Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute call on activists to become more comfortable with pragmatism, high-technology and aspirations for human greatness.
- Underachievement among minorities. In Winning the Race (2005), linguist John McWhorter says that many African Americans are negatively affected by a cultural phenomenon he calls "therapeutic alienation".
- Economics. In The Origin of Wealth (2006), Eric Beinhocker of the Institute for New Economic Thinking portrays the economy as a dynamic but imperfectly self-regulating evolutionary system and suggests policies that could support benign socio-economic evolution.
- International relations. In How to Run the World (2011), scholar Parag Khanna argues that the emerging world order should not be run from the top down, but by a galaxy of nonprofit, nation-state, corporate and individual actors cooperating for their mutual benefit.
- Defining others as enemies. In The Righteous Mind (2012), psychologist Jonathan Haidt attempts to explain "why good people are divided by politics and religion".
- Political organizing. In Voice of the People (2008), conservative activist Lawrence Chickering and liberal attorney James Turner attempt to lay the groundwork for a grassroots "transpartisan" movement across the U.S.
- What one person can do. In his memoir Radical Middle: Confessions of an Accidental Revolutionary (2010), South African journalist Denis Beckett tries to show that one person can make a difference in a situation many might regard as hopeless.
Radical centrist political actionEdit
Radical centrists have been and continue to be engaged in a variety of political activities:
In Australia, Aboriginal lawyer Noel Pearson is building an explicitly radical centrist movement among Aborigines. The movement is seeking more assistance from the Australian state, but is also seeking to convince individual Aborigines to take more responsibility for their lives. To political philosopher Katherine Curchin, writing in the Australian Journal of Political Science, Pearson is attempting something unusual and worthwhile: casting public debate on indigenous issues in terms of a search for a radical center. She says Pearson's methods have much in common with those of deliberative democracy.
In the late 2010s, Brazil's Marina Silva was identified by The Economist as an emerging radical-centrist leader. Formerly a member of the left-wing Workers' Party, by 2017 she had organized a new party whose watchwords included environmentalism, liberalism, and "clean politics". She had already served six years as Minister of the Environment, and in 2010 she was the Green Party candidate for President of Brazil, finishing third with 20% of the vote.
Following the 2010 election, Nick Clegg, then leader of the Liberal Democrats (Britain's third-largest party at the time), had his party enter into a Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition agreement to form a majority government. In a speech to party members in the spring of 2011, Clegg declared that he considers himself and his party to be radical centrist:
For the left, an obsession with the state. For the right, a worship of the market. But as liberals, we place our faith in people. People with power and opportunity in their hands. Our opponents try to divide us with their outdated labels of left and right. But we are not on the left and we are not on the right. We have our own label: Liberal. We are liberals and we own the freehold to the centre ground of British politics. Our politics is the politics of the radical centre.
In the late 1970s, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau claimed that his Liberal Party adhered to the "radical center". One thing this means, Trudeau said, is that "sometimes we have to fight against the state". Paul Hellyerr, who served in Trudeau's first cabinet and spent over half a century in Canadian political life, [nb 13] said in 2010, "I have been branded as everything from far left to far right. I put myself in the radical center – one who seeks solutions to problems based on first principles without regard to ideology. I believe that it is the kind of solution the world desperately needs at a time when niggling change or fine tuning is not good enough".
Justin Trudeau, elected Prime Minister of Canada in 2015, has been characterized as radical centrist by Stuart Trew of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives as well as by the magazine CounterPunch Trew notes that both Justin Trudeau and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, are optimists, moderate redistributionists, internationalists, feminists, and good listeners. "Consultation, for radical centrists, is key", Trew concludes.
In 2017, The Economist described Chile's Andres Velasco as a rising radical-centrist politician. A former finance minister in Michelle Bachelet's first government, he later unsuccessfully ran against her for the presidential nomination and then helped establish a new political party. According to The Economist, Velasco and his colleagues say they support a political philosophy that is both liberal and egalitarian. Like Amartya Sen, they see freedom not just as freedom-from, but as the absence of domination and the opportunity to fulfill one's potential. Like John Rawls, they reject the far left's emphasis on state redistribution in favor of an emphasis on equal treatment for all with special vigilance against class- and race-based discrimination.
Several observers have identified Emmanuel Macron, elected President of France in 2017, as a radical centrist. Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post says Macron "represents the brand-new radical center", as does his political movement, En Marche!, which Applebaum translates as "forward". She notes a number of politically bridging ideas Macron holds – for example, "He embraces markets, but says he believes in 'collective solidarity'". A professor of history, Robert Zaretsky, writing in Foreign Policy, argues that Macron's radical centrism is "the embodiment of a particularly French kind of center – the extreme center". He points to Macron's declaration that he is "neither left nor right", and to his support for policies, such as public-sector austerity and major environmental investments, that traditional political parties might find contradictory.
U.S. politician Dave Andersion, writing in The Hill newspaper, says that Macron's election victory points the way for those "who wish to transcend their polarized politics of [the present] in the name of a new center, not a moderate center associated with United States and United Kingdom 'Third Way' politics but what has been described as Macron's 'radical center' point of view. … [It] transcends left and right but takes important elements of both sides".
According to journalist Angelo Persichilli, Italian Christian Democratic Party leader Aldo Moro's call for "parallel convergence" prefigured today's calls for radical centrism. Until being murdered by the Red Brigades in the late 1970s, Moro had been promoting a political alliance between Christian Democracy and the Italian Communist Party. Moro acknowledged that the two parties were so different that they ran on parallel tracks and he did not want them to lose their identities, but he emphasized that in the end their interests were convergent—hence the phrase he coined and popularized, "parallel convergence".
Some commentators identify Ross Perot's 1992 U.S. presidential campaign as the first radical middle national campaign. However, many radical centrist authors were not enthusiastic about Perot. Matthew Miller acknowledges that Perot had enough principle to support a gasoline tax hike, Halstead and Lind note that he popularized the idea of balancing the budget and John Avlon says he crystallized popular distrust of partisan extremes. However, none of those authors examines Perot's ideas or campaigns in depth and Mark Satin does not mention Perot at all. Joe Klein mocked one of Perot's campaign gaffes and said he was not a sufficiently substantial figure. Miller characterizes Perot as a rich, self-financed lone wolf. By contrast, what most radical centrists say they want in political action terms is the building of a grounded political movement.
Also in the 1990s, political independents Jesse Ventura, Angus King and Lowell Weicker became governors of American states. According to John Avlon, they pioneered the combination of fiscal prudence and social tolerance that has served as a model for radical centrist governance ever since. They also developed a characteristic style, a combination of "common sense and maverick appeal".[nb 14]
In the decade of the 2000s, a number of governors and mayors – most prominently, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Virginia governor and later Senator Mark Warner, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg – were celebrated by some as "action heroes" who looked beyond partisanship to get things done.
In the 2010s, the radical centrist movement in the U.S. is mostly being played out in the national media. In 2010, for example, The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called for "a Tea Party of the radical center", an organized national pressure group. At The Washington Post, columnist Matthew Miller was explaining "Why we need a third party of (radical) centrists".[nb 15]
In 2011, Friedman championed Americans Elect, an insurgent group of radical centrist Democrats, Republicans and independents who were hoping to run an independent Presidential candidate in 2012. Meanwhile, Miller offered "[t]he third-party stump speech we need". In his book The Price of Civilization (2011), Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs called for the creation of a third U.S. party, an "Alliance for the Radical Center".
While no independent radical-centrist presidential candidate emerged in 2012, John Avlon emphasized the fact that independent voters remain the fastest-growing portion of the electorate.
In late 2015, the No Labels organization, co-founded by Avlon, called a national "Problem Solver" convention to discuss how to best reduce political polarization and promote political solutions that could bridge the left-right divide. A lengthy article in The Atlantic about the convention conveys the views of leaders of a new generation of beyond-left-and-right (or both-left-and-right) organizations, including Joan Blades of Living Room Conversations, David Blankenhorn of Better Angels, Carolyn Lukensmeyer of the National Institute for Civil Discourse and Steve McIntosh of the Institute for Cultural Evolution. Following the 2016 presidential election, prominent U.S. commentator David Brooks praised No Labels and other such groups and offered them advice, including this: "[D]eepen a positive national vision that is not merely a positioning between left and right".
By the mid-2010s, several exponents of radical centrism had run, albeit unsuccessfully, for seats in the United States Congress, including Matthew Miller in California and Dave Anderson in Maryland.
In November and December 2017, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin identified himself and other Senators as members of the Radical Middle. In November during an interview alongside Susan Collins announcing their appointment as co-Chairs of No Labels, he told CNN host Chris Cuomo that "as Susan always says, we are in the radical middle." In an interview after Doug Jones' victory in Alabama, he told Fox News that he and newly elected Alabama Senator Doug Jones "belong to the radical middle". Following unidentified laughter, Manchin added, "And that's a tough – a tough space to handle right now".
Even before the 21st century, some observers were speaking out against what they saw as radical centrism.[nb 16] In 1998, for example, Belgian political theorist Chantal Mouffe argued that passionate and often bitter conflict between left and right is a necessary feature of any democracy.[nb 17]
Objections to policies, assumptions, and attitudesEdit
Some 21st century commentators argue that radical centrist policies are not substantially different from conventional centrist ideas. For example, U.S. economist Robert Kuttner says there already is a radical centrist party –"It's called the Democrats". Social theorist Richard Kahlenberg says that Ted Halstead and Michael Lind's book Radical Center is too skeptical about the virtues of labor unions and too ardent about the virtues of the market.
Others contend that radical centrist policies lack clarity. For example, in 2001 journalist Eric Alterman said that the New America Foundation think tank was neither liberal nor progressive and did not know what it was.
In 2017, in a 1,700-word article for CounterPunch entitled "Beware the Radical Center", Canadian writer Ryan Shah characterized radical centrism as a just-in-time "repackaging" of neoliberalism meant to sustain the political, economic, and social status quo. He warned that political leaders such as Europe's Emmanuel Macron and North America's Justin Trudeau were creating a false image of radical centrist programs as progressive, and urged leftists to develop "genuine" policy alternatives to neoliberalism such as those advocated by British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
By contrast, some observers claim that radical centrist ideas are too different from mainstream policies to be viable. Sam Tanenhaus, the editor of The New York Times Book Review, called the proposals in Halstead and Lind's book "utopian". According to Ed Kilgore, the policy director of the Democratic Leadership Council, Mark Satin's Radical Middle book "ultimately places him in the sturdy tradition of 'idealistic' American reformers who think smart and principled people unencumbered by political constraints can change everything".
Some have suggested that radical centrists may be making false assumptions about their effectiveness or appeal. In the U.S., for example, political analyst James Joyner found that states adopting non-partisan redistricting commissions, a favorite radical-centrist proposal, have been no more fiscally responsible than states without such commissions. In 2017, The Economist wondered whether Latin Americans really wanted to hear the hard truths about their societies that some radical centrists were offering them.
Radical centrist attitudes have also been criticized. For example, many bloggers have characterized Thomas Friedman's columns on radical centrism as elitist and glib. In Australia, some think that Australian attorney Noel Pearson – long an advocate of radical centrism – is in fact a "polarizing partisan".
Objections to strategiesEdit
Some observers question the wisdom of seeking consensus, post-partisanship or reconciliation in political life. Political scientist Jonathan Bernstein argues that American democratic theory from the time of James Madison's Federalist No. 10 (1787) has been based on the acknowledgement of faction and the airing of debate, and he sees no reason to change now.
Other observers feel radical centrists are misreading the political situation. For example, conservative journalist Ramesh Ponnuru says liberals and conservatives are not ideologically opposed to such radical centrist measures as limiting entitlements and raising taxes to cover national expenditures. Instead, voters are opposed to them and things will change when voters can be convinced otherwise.
The third-party strategy favored by many U.S. radical centrists has been criticized as impractical and diversionary. According to these critics, what is needed instead is (a) reform of the legislative process; and (b) candidates in existing political parties who will support radical centrist ideas. The specific third-party vehicle favored by many U.S. radical centrists in 2012 – Americans Elect – was criticized as an "elite-driven party" supported by a "dubious group of Wall Street multi-millionaires".
After spending time with a variety of radical centrists, journalist Alec MacGillis concluded that their perspectives are so disparate that they could never come together to build a viable political organization.
Some radical centrists are less than sanguine about their future. One concern is co-optation. For example, Michael Lind worries that the enthusiasm for the term radical center, on the part of "arbiters of the conventional wisdom", may signal a weakening of the radical vision implied by the term.
Another concern is passion. John Avlon fears that some centrists cannot resist the lure of passionate partisans, whom he calls "wingnuts". By contrast, Mark Satin worries that radical centrism, while "thoroughly sensible", lacks an "animating passion" – and claims there has never been a successful political movement without one.
Radical centrism as dialogue and processEdit
Some radical centrists, such as theorist Tom Atlee, mediator Mark Gerzon, and activist Joseph F. McCormick, see radical centrism as primarily a commitment to process. Their approach is to facilitate processes of structured dialogue among polarized people and groups, from the neighborhood level on up. A major goal is to enable dialogue participants to come up with new perspectives and solutions that can address every party's core interests. Onward Christian Athletes author Tom Krattenmaker speaks of the radical center as that (metaphoric) space where such dialogue and innovation can occur. Similarly, The Lipstick Proviso: Women, Sex, and Power in the Real World author Karen Lehrman Bloch speaks of the radical middle as a "common ground" where left and right can "nurture a saner society".
Organizations seeking to catalyze dialogue and innovation among diverse people and groups have included AmericaSpeaks, C1 World Dialogue, Everyday Democracy,  Listening Project (North Carolina), Living Room Conversations, Public Conversations Project, Search for Common Ground, and Village Square. The city of Portland, Oregon has been characterized as "radical middle" in USA Today newspaper because many formerly antagonistic groups there are said to be talking to, learning from and working with one another.
In 2005, The Atlantic portrayed Egyptian Islamic cleric Ali Gomaa as the voice of an emergent form of radical Islam – "traditionalism without the extremism". In 2012, in an article entitled "The Radical Middle: Building Bridges Between the Muslim and Western Worlds, Gomaa shared his approach to the dialogic process:
The purpose of dialogue should not be to convert others, but rather to share with them one's principles. Sincere dialogue should strengthen one's faith while breaking down barriers. … Dialogue is a process of exploration and coming to know the other, as much as it is an example of clarifying one's own positions. Therefore, when one dialogues with others, what is desired is to explore their ways of thinking, so as to correct misconceptions in our own minds and arrive at common ground.
In 2017, former American football player and Green Beret soldier Nate Boyer suggested that his "radical middle" stance could help address the issues and resolve the controversy surrounding U.S. national anthem protests at football games.
- For an extended discussion of neoclassical American pragmatism and its possible political implications, see Louis Menand's book The Metaphysical Club.
- An international evangelical movement, the Association of Vineyard Churches, describes itself as "radical middle" because it believes that spiritual truth is found by holding supposedly contradictory concepts in tension. Examples include head vs. heart, planning vs. being Spirit-led, and standing for truth vs. standing for Unity.
- In the 1980s, Satin's own Washington, D.C.-based political newsletter, New Options, described itself as "post-liberal". Culture critic Annie Gottlieb says it urged the New Left and New Age to "evolve into a 'New Center'".
- According to journalist John Judis, the first person to employ the term "radical centrism" was an American sociologist, Seymour Martin Lipset, who used it in his book Political Man (1960) to help explain European fascism.
- Warren's book influenccd Michael Lind and other 21st century radical centrists.
- Two years later, another prominent futurist, John Naisbitt, wrote in bolded type, "The political left and right are dead; all the action is being generated by a radical center".
- Subsequent to Klein's article, some political writers posited the existence of two radical centers, one neopopulist and bitter and the other moderate and comfortable. According to historian Sam Tanenhaus, one of the strengths of Ted Halstead and Michael Lind's book The Radical Center (2001) is it attempts to weld the two supposed radical-centrist factions together.
- A 1991 story in Time magazine with a similar title, "Looking for The Radical Middle", revealed the existence of a "New Paradigm Society" in Washington, D.C., a group of high-level liberal and conservative activists seeking ways to bridge the ideological divide. The article discusses what it describes as the group's virtual manifesto, E. J. Dionne's book Why Americans Hate Politics.
- In 2010, radical centrist Michael Lind stated that "to date, President Obama has been the soft-spoken tribune of the mushy middle".
- Matthew Miller added an "Afterword" to the paperback edition of his book favoring formation of a "transformational third party" by the year 2010, if the two major parties remained stuck in their ways.
- Besides Halstead and Lind, thinkers affiliated with the New America Foundation in the early 2000s included Katherine Boo, Steven Clemons, James Fallows, Maya MacGuineas, Walter Russell Mead, James Pinkerton, Jedediah Purdy, and Sherle Schwenninger.
- Peters used the term "neoliberal" to distinguish his ideas from those of neoconservatives and conventional liberals. His version of neoliberalism is separate from what came to be known internationally as neoliberalism.
- In 1997, forty-eight years after first being elected to the Canadian Parliament, Hellyer founded a minor political party, the Canadian Action Party.
- By the end of the 20th century, some mainstream politicians were cloaking themselves in the language of the radical center. For example, in 1996 former U.S. Defense Secretary Elliot Richardson stated: "I am a moderate – a radical moderate. I believe profoundly in the ultimate value of human dignity and equality". At a conference in Berlin, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien declared, "I am the radical center".
- In 2009, on The Huffington Post website, the president of The Future 500 – following up on his earlier endorsement of the "radical middle" – made the case for a "transpartisan" alliance between left and right.
- In 1967, a novella by science fiction writer Mack Reynolds portrayed a conspiracy of powerful men that called itself the "Radical Center". They planned to take over the government by spreading an anything-goes morality that would make citizens selfish, apathetic, and non-judgmental.
- Mouffe also criticized radical centrism for its "New Age rhetorical flourish".
- Olson, Robert (January–February 2005). "The Rise of 'Radical Middle' Politics". The Futurist, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 45–47. Publication of the World Future Society.
- Tanenhaus, Sam (14 April 2010). "The Radical Center: The History of an Idea". The New York Times Book Review, p. 27. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Halstead, Ted; Lind, Michael (2001). The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics. Doubleday/Random House, p. 16. ISBN 978-0-385-50045-6.
- Avlon, John (2004). Independent Nation: How the Vital Center Is Changing American Politics. Harmony Books/Random House, p. 2. ISBN 978-1-4000-5023-9.
- Satin, Mark (2004). Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now. Westview Press and Basic Books, p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8133-4190-3.
- Avlon (2004), p. 109.
- Miller, Matthew (2003). The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America's Problems in Ways Liberals and Conservatives Can Love. Public Affairs/Perseus Books Group. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-58648-158-2.
- Halstead, Ted, ed.(2004). The Real State of the Union: From the Best Minds in America, Bold Solutions to the Problems Politicians Dare Not Address. Basic Books, Chaps. 27–31. ISBN 978-0-465-05052-9.
- Avlon (2004), Part 4.
- Marx, Greg (25 July 2011). "Tom Friedman's 'Radical' Wrongness". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Krattenmaker, Tom (27 December 2012). "Welcome to the 'Radical Middle'". USA Today newspaper, p. A12. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
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- Miller (2003), Chap. 4.
- Miller (2003), cited above.
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- Miller (2003), Chap. 7.
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- Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 14.
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- Satin (2004), Chaps. 13–15.
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- Avlon (2004), p. 18.
- Miller (2003), p. 230, and Postscript.
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- Miller, Matthew (2003a). The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America's Problems in Ways Liberals and Conservatives Can Love. Public Affairs / Perseus Books Group. Paperback edition, pp. 263–88. ISBN 978-1-58648-289-3.
- Satin (2004), Chap. 18.
- Halstead, ed. (2004), pp. v–vii and xiii.
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- Friedman, Thomas (24 July 2011). "Make Way for the Radical Center". The New York Times, p. 5-SR. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Klein, Joe (25 June 2007). "The Courage Primary". Time magazine, vol. 169, no. 26, p. 39. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Miller, Matthew (24 June 2010). "A Case for 'Radical Centrism'". The Washington Post online. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Leader (13 October 2012). "True Progressivism: Inequality and the World Economy". The Economist, p. 14 (U.S. edition). Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- J.C. (2 September 2013). "Is The Economist Left- or Right-Wing?" The Economist website. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Khanna, Parag (2011). How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance. Random House. ISBN 978-0-6796-0428-0.
- Lieven, Anatol; Hulsman, John (2006). Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World. Pantheon Books / Random House, Introduction. ISBN 978-0-375-42445-8.
- Nordhaus, Ted; Shellenberger, Michael (2007). Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. Houghton Mifflin, Introduction. ISBN 978-0-618-65825-1.
- McWhorter, John (2005). Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America. Gotham Books / Penguin Group, Chap. 5. ISBN 978-1-59240-188-8.
- Beinhocker, Eric D. (2006). The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics. Harvard Business School Press, pp. 11–13 and Chap. 18 ("Politics and Policy: The End of Left versus Right"). ISBN 978-1-57851-777-0.
- Haidt, Jonathan (2012). The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Pantheon Books, Introduction. ISBN 978-0-307-37790-6.
- Chickering, A. Lawrence; Turner, James S. (2008). Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life. DaVinci Press, Part V. ISBN 978-0-615-21526-6.
- Beckett, Denis (2010). Radical Middle: Confessions of an Accidental Revolutionary. Tafelberg. ISBN 978-0-624-04912-8.
- Chuchin, Katherine (2013). "Discursive Representation and Pearson’s Quest for a Radical Centre". Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 256–268.
- "Bello" column (7 September 2017). "The Appeal of Macronismo in Latin America: Rebuilding the Radical Centre". The Economist, vol. 424, no. 9057, p. 34 (U.S. edition). Print edition uses the sub-title only. Author of the "Bello" column was identified in the online masthead as journalist Michael Reid.
- Pearson, Noel (7 September 2010). "Nights When I Dream of a Better World: Moving from the Centre-Left to the Radical Centre of Australian Politics". The 2010 John Button Oration. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- Pearson, Noel (21 April 2007). "Hunt for the Radical Centre". The Australian. Reproduced on the Cape York Partnership website. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- Pearson, Noel (22 October 2016). "Hunt for the Radical Centre: Confronting Welfare Dependency". The Australian, p. 19. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Vaz, Sofia Guedes (2017). Environment: Why Read the Classics? Routledge, p. 18. ISBN 978-1-906093-75-4.
- Author unidentified (12 May 2011). "David Cameron and Nick Clegg Pledge ‘United' Coalition". BBC News website. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
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- Graham, Ron, ed. (1998). The Essential Trudeau. McClelland & Stewart, p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7710-8591-8.
- Thompson, Wayne C. (2017). Canada 2017-2018. Rowman & Littlefield, p. 135. ISBN 978-1-4758-3510-6.
- Blaikie, Bill (2011). The Blaikie Report: An Insider's Look at Faith and Politics. United Church Publishing House / United Church of Canada, pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-1-55134-188-0.
- Hellyer, Paul (2010). Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Survival Plan for the Human Species. AuthorHouse, p. xi. ISBN 978-1-4490-7613-9.
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- Applebaum, Anne (23 April 2017). "France's Election Reveals a New Political Divide". Washington Post online. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Zaretsky, Robert (24 April 2017). "The Radical Centrism of Emmanuel Macron". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Anderson, Dave (16 May 2017). "Why the 'Radical Center' Must Be the Future of American Politics". The Hill newspaper. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Persichilli, Angelo (22 March 2009). "On a Collision Course Toward the Radical Middle". Toronto Star, p. A17.
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- Richardson, Elliot (1996). Reflections of a Radical Moderate. Pantheon Books, Preface. ISBN 978-0-679-42820-6.
- Grunwald, Michael (25 June 2007). "The New Action Heroes". Time magazine, vol. 169, no. 26, pp. 32–38. Cover story.
- Friedman, Thomas L. (24 March 2010). "A Tea Party Without Nuts". The New York Times, p. A27. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Miller, Matt (11 November 2010). "Why We Need a Third Party of (Radical) Centrists". The Washington Post online. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Future 500. Official website. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- Shireman, Bill (5 April 2009). "The Radical Middle Wins in Iowa". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- Shireman, Bill (20 April 2009). "Time for a Tea Party with the Right: Why Progressives Need a Transpartisan Strategy". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Miller, Matt (25 September 2011). "The Third-Party Stump Speech We Need". The Washington Post online. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- Sachs, Jeffrey R. (2011). The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity. Random House, pp. 247–48. ISBN 978-0-8129-8046-2.
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- Interview transcript (13 December 2017). "Sen. Manchin: Jones and I Belong to the 'Radical Middle'". Fox News. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- Reynolds, Mack (1967). "Radical Center". Reprinted in Olander, Joseph D.; Greenberg, Martin H.; Warrick, Patricia (1974). American Government Through Science Fiction. Foreword by Frederik Pohl. Rand McNally College Publishing Co., pp. 14–42. ISBN 978-0-528-65902-7.
- Mouffe, Chantal (summer 1998). "The Radical Centre: A Politics Without Adversary". Soundings, issue no. 9, pp. 11–23.
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- Kilgore, Ed (June 2004). "Good Government: Time to Stop Bashing the Two-Party System". The Washington Monthly, pp. 58–59.
- Kuttner, Robert (19 February 2012). "The Radical Center we Don't Need". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- Kahlenberg, Richard (19 December 2001). "Radical in the Center". American Prospect, vol. 12, no. 21, p. 41. Print version d. 3 December 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- Joyner, James (2010-03-24). "Radical Center: Friedman's Fantasy". Outside the Beltway. Retrieved 2013-04-30
- Curchin, Katherine (December 2015). "Noel Pearson's Role in the Northern Territory Intervention: Radical Centrist or Polarising Partisan?" Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 576–590.
- Ponnuru, Ramesh (24 March 2010). "The Corner: Tom Friedman's Radical Confusion". National Review Online. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- MacGillis, Alec (26 October 2011). "Third Wheel". The New Republic, vol. 242, no. 17, p. 8. Print version d. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
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- Avlon, John (2010). Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America. Beast Books / Perseus Books Group, pp. 1–3 and 238–39. ISBN 978-0-9842951-1-1.
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- Gerzon (2006, Chaps. 9–10.
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- Bloch, Karen Lehrman (5 October 2017). "Toward a Radical Middle". Jewish Journal, hard-copy issue dated 6 October 2017, p. 9. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
- Gerzon, Mark (2016). The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-1-62656-658-3.
- Gomaa, Ali (September 2012). "The Radical Middle: Building Bridges Between the Muslim and Western Worlds". UN Chronicle, vol. XLIX, no. 3, pp. 4–6. Retrieved 11 November 2017. The author describes himself as co-chair of C1 World Dialogue.
- Gerzon (2016), pp. 63–64.
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- Gomaa (2012), p. 5.
- Boyer, Nate (26 May 2017). "Honoring Fallen on Memorial Day Means Honoring Right to Protest". USA Today online. See second section ("Fighting from the radical middle"). Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Waggoner, Nick, ed. (13 October 2017). "Ex-Green Beret Nick Boyer Writes Open Latter to Trump, Kaepernick, NFL and America". ESPN.com. See last paragraph. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
Books from the 1990sEdit
- Coyle, Diane (1997). The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. ISBN 978-0-262-03259-9.
- Esty, Daniel C.; Chertow, Marian, eds. (1997). Thinking Ecologically: The Next Generation of Ecological Policy. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07303-4.
- Penny, Tim; Garrett, Major (1998). The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-18294-6.
- Sider, Ronald J. (1999). Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America. Baker Books. ISBN 978-0-8010-6613-9.
- Ventura, Jesse (2000). I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up. New York: Signet. ISBN 0451200861.
- Wolfe, Alan (1998). One Nation, After All: What Middle-Class Americans Really Think. Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-87677-8.
Books from the 2000sEdit
- Anderson, Walter Truett (2001). All Connected Now: Life in the First Global Civilization. Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-3937-5.
- Florida, Richard (2002). The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02476-6.
- Lukes, Steven (2009). The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat: A Novel of Ideas. Verso Books, 2nd ed. ISBN 978-1-84467-369-8.
- Miller, Matt (2009). The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity. Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 978-0-8050-9150-2.
- Penner, Rudolph; Sawhill, Isabel; Taylor, Timothy (2000). Updating America's Social Contract: Economic Growth and Opportunity in the New Century. W. W. Norton and Co., Chap. 1 ("An Agenda for the Radical Middle"). ISBN 978-0-393-97579-6.
- Wexler, David B.; Winick, Bruce, eds. (2003). Judging in a Therapeutic Key: Therapeutic Justice and the Courts. Carolina Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-89089-408-8.
- Whitman, Christine Todd (2005). It's My Party, Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America. The Penguin Press, Chap. 7 ("A Time for Radical Moderates"). ISBN 978-1-59420-040-3.
Books from the 2010sEdit
- Brock, H. Woody (2012). American Gridlock: Why the Right and Left Are Both Wrong. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-63892-7.
- Clegg, Nick (2017). Politics: Between the Extremes, international edition. Vintage. ISBN 978-1-78470-416-2.
- Edwards, Mickey (2012). The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-18456-3.
- Huntsman Jr., John, editor (2014). No Labels: A Shared Vision for a Stronger America. Diversion Books. ISBN 978-1-62681-237-6.
- Macron, Emmanuel (2017). Revolution. Scribe Publications. ISBN 978-1-925322-71-2.
- Orman, Greg (2016). A Declaration of Independents: How we Can Break the Two-Party Stranglehold and Restore the American Dream. Greenleaf Book Group Press. ISBN 978-1-62634-332-0.
- Pearson, Noel (2011). Up From the Mission: Selected Writings. Black Inc. 2nd ed. Part Four ("The Quest for a Radical Centre"). ISBN 978-1-86395-520-1.
- Salit, Jacqueline S. (2012). Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties, and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-33912-5.
- Trudeau, Justin (2015). Common Ground. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-1-4434-3338-9.
- Whelan, Charles (2013). The Centrist Manifesto. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-34687-9.
- White, Courtney (2017). Grassroots: The Rise of the Radical Center and The Next West. Dog Ear Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4575-5431-5.
Manifestos, in chronological orderEdit
- "Road to Generational Equity" – Tim Penny, Richard Lamm, and Paul Tsongas (1995). Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "An Invitation to Join the Radical Center" – Gary Paul Nabhan, Courtney White, and 18 others (2003). Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- "The Cape York Agenda" – Noel Pearson (2005). Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- "Ten Big Ideas for a New America" – New America Foundation (2007). Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- "The Liberal Moment" – Nick Clegg (2009). Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Depolarizing the American Mind" – Steve McIntosh and Carter Phipps (2014). Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- "Real Change" – Liberal Party of Canada platform under Justin Trudeau (2015). Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Rough Guide to Manifesto of Macron" – Emmanuel Macron, edited by Reuters (2017). Retrieved 15 October 2017.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Radical centrism|
- Cape York Institute – Australian think tank
- Demos – U.K. think tank
- New America – U.S. think tank
- No Labels – U.S. political group
- Search for Common Ground – global dialogues