Max O. Stephenson, Fragile Foundations and Enduring Challenges: Essays on Democratic Politics and Governance (VT Publishing, 2019).


In this volume of timely essays, Max O. Stephenson Jr. offers unique insight into the state of politics and policymaking in the United States. Covering the period 2010-2018, his essays chronicle a growing crisis in American governance with many of the nation’s professed values and principles increasingly under attack—including the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the ability of a share of its citizens otherwise eligible to vote to exercise their right to do so. But Stephenson does more than sound a warning cry. He urges all Americans to reclaim self-governance and democracy by embracing the central values and core purposes underpinning the United States. Max O. Stephenson Jr. is Professor of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech where he also directs the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG)

About the Author
Max Stephenson, Jr. serves as a Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Policy and Governance at Virginia Tech. His current research and teaching interests include leadership, community change and democratization processes, NGOs and international development, peacebuilding and humanitarian relief. He is the author, co-author or editor of 8 books and more than 60 academic articles and book chapters. He also writes essays on current political and policy concerns for two commentary series, Soundings and Tidings, published bi-weekly and quarterly respectively. He is currently at work on two books, scheduled for publication in 2019 by Virginia Tech Press. Conversations in Community Change: Voices from the Field, is an edited collection of interviews with 30 individuals seeking community change at multiple geographic scales and in different parts of the political economy. Fragile Foundations and Enduring Challenges: Essays on Democratic Politics and Governance, is a compilation of 124 essays, originally published as commentaries, addressing the dynamics of democratic politics. Dr. Stephenson obtained his Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Virginia.