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The terms radical centrism, radical center (or radical centre) and radical middle refer to a "political philosophy 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 the philosophy a more developed cast.[1][2]

The ""radical" in the term refers to a willingness on the part of most radical centrists to call for fundamental reform of institutions.[3] The ""centrism" refers to a belief that genuine solutions require realism and "pragmatism, not just idealism and emotion.[4] Thus one radical centrist text defines radical centrism as ""idealism without "illusions",[5] a phrase originally from "John F. Kennedy.[6]

Most radical centrists borrow what they see as good ideas from "left, "right and wherever else they may be found, often melding them together.[1] Most support "market-based solutions to "social problems with strong governmental oversight in the "public interest.[7] There is support for increased global engagement and the growth of an empowered "middle class in "developing countries.[8] Many radical centrists work within the major political parties, but also support "independent or "third-party initiatives and candidacies.[9]

Criticism of radical centrist policies and strategies has mounted as the political philosophy has developed. One common criticism is that radical centrist policies are only marginally different from conventional centrist policies.[10] Another criticism is that the radical centrist penchant for third parties is naive and self-defeating.[10] Some observers see radical centrism as primarily a process of catalyzing dialogue and fresh thinking among polarized people and groups.[11]


Influences and precursors[edit]

Some influences on radical centrist political philosophy are not directly political. "Robert C. Solomon, a philosopher with radical-centrist interests,[12] 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.[14][nb 2]

""Woman in glasses waving documents in air.
Urban theorist and activist "Jane Jacobs (1916–2006) in 1961. She has been described as "proto-radical middle".[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19][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".[22]

Late 20th century groundwork[edit]

Initial definitions[edit]

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.[23][24][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.[26] 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".[27] She called for the "reconciliation" of the white working class and "African-Americans.[27]

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.[28][nb 5]

"Joe Klein wrote the "Newsweek cover story "Stalking the Radical Middle" (1995).

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".[30][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".[32] African-American theorist "Stanley Crouch upset many political thinkers when he pronounced himself a "radical pragmatist".[33] 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".[34]

In his influential[35] 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".[36][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.[40] 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.[41][42]

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[17] and "Richard Reeves, Clegg's longtime advisor, emphatically rejects social democracy.[43]

In the United States, the situation is different because the term Third Way was adopted by the "Democratic Leadership Council and other moderate Democrats.[44] 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[45] and Lind subsequently accused the organized moderate Democrats of siding with the "center-right" and "Wall Street.[29] Radical centrists have expressed dismay with what they see as "split[ting] the difference",[36] ""triangulation"[29][46] and other supposed practices of what some of them call the "mushy middle".[47][48][nb 9]

Twenty-first century overviews[edit]

"Ted Halstead (left) and "Michael Lind (right) were co-authors of the book The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics (2001).
Early-21st-century radical centrist authors included former Green activist "Mark Satin (left) and former Republican activist "John Avlon (right).

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).[49][50] These books attempted to take the concept of radical centrism beyond the stage of "cautious gestures"[51] and journalistic observation and define it as a political philosophy.[1][2]

The authors came to their task from diverse political backgrounds: Avlon had been a speechwriter for New York Republican Mayor "Rudolph Giuliani;[52] Miller had been a business consultant before serving in President "Bill Clinton's budget office;[53] Lind had been an exponent of "Harry Truman-style "national liberalism";[54] Halstead had run a think tank called Redefining Progress;[55] and Satin had co-drafted the "U.S. Green Party's foundational political statement, "Ten Key Values".[56] 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:



Policies (in general)[edit]

"Matthew Miller wrote The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America's Problems in Ways Liberals and Conservatives Can Love (2003).[75]


Idea creation and dissemination[edit]

Along with publication of the four overviews of radical centrist politics, the first part of the 21st century saw a rise in the creation and dissemination of radical centrist "policy ideas.[1][2]

Think tanks and mass media[edit]

""Four people seated at a panel discussion.
Panel discussion at the "New America think tank, Washington, D.C., 2015.

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.[55][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[100][101][nb 12] and many large-circulation magazines publish articles by New America fellows.[103] Columnists who write from a radical centrist perspective include "John Avlon at "The Daily Beast,[104] "Thomas Friedman at "The New York Times,[105] "Joe Klein at "Time magazine[106] and "Matthew Miller at "The Washington Post.[107] Prominent journalists "James Fallows and "Fareed Zakaria have been identified as radical centrists.[1]

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".[108] 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".[109]

Books on specific topics[edit]

""Young man on swivel chair before huge global map.
"Parag Khanna speaks on his book How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011).[110]

Many books are offering radical centrist perspectives and policy proposals on specific topics. Some examples:

Radical centrist political action[edit]

By the 2010s, radical centrist political actors were said to include Australia's "Noel Pearson[118] (right) and Brazil's "Marina Silva[119] (left).

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.[120] 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.[121][122] 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.[118] She says Pearson's methods have much in common with those of "deliberative democracy.[118]


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".[119] 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.[123]


"Nick Clegg with his wife and infant son, 2009.

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.[124] 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.[125]

In the autumn of 2012, Clegg's longtime policy advisor elaborated on the differences between Clegg's identity as a "radical liberal" and traditional "social democracy.[43]


"Justin Trudeau campaigning at "LGBTQ Pride, Vancouver, 2015.

In the late 1970s, Prime Minister "Pierre Elliott Trudeau claimed that his "Liberal Party adhered to the "radical center".[126][127] One thing this means, Trudeau said, is that "sometimes we have to fight against the state".[126] "Paul Hellyerr, who served in Trudeau's first cabinet and spent over half a century in Canadian political life,[128] [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".[129]

"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[130] as well as by the magazine "CounterPunch[131] 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.[130]


In 2017, The Economist described Chile's "Andres Velasco as a rising radical-centrist politician.[119] 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.[119] According to The Economist, Velasco and his colleagues say they support a political philosophy that is both liberal and egalitarian.[119] 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.[119] 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.[119]


"Emmanuel Macron speaking at a high-tech conference, 2014.

Several observers have identified "Emmanuel Macron, elected President of France in 2017, as a radical centrist.[130][131] "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".[132] She notes a number of politically bridging ideas Macron holds – for example, "He embraces markets, but says he believes in 'collective solidarity'".[132] 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".[133] 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.[133]

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".[134]


According to journalist "Angelo Persichilli, Italian "Christian Democratic Party leader "Aldo Moro's call for "parallel convergence" prefigured today's calls for radical centrism.[135] 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.[135] 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".[135]

United States[edit]

Some commentators identify "Ross Perot's 1992 U.S. presidential campaign as the first radical middle national campaign.[36][136] However, many radical centrist authors were not enthusiastic about "Perot. Matthew Miller acknowledges that Perot had enough principle to support a gasoline tax hike,[137] Halstead and Lind note that he popularized the idea of balancing the budget[138] and John Avlon says he crystallized popular distrust of partisan extremes.[139] 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.[36] Miller characterizes Perot as a rich, self-financed lone wolf.[140] By contrast, what most radical centrists say they want in political action terms is the building of a grounded political movement.[141][142]

Political independent "Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998.[59]

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.[59] They also developed a characteristic style, a combination of "common sense and maverick appeal".[143][nb 14]

In the decade of the 2000s, a number of governors and mayors – most prominently, California governor "Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York City mayor "Michael Bloomberg – were celebrated by some as "action heroes" who looked beyond partisanship to get things done.[145]

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.[146] At The Washington Post, columnist "Matthew Miller was explaining "Why we need a third party of (radical) centrists".[147][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.[105] Meanwhile, Miller offered "[t]he third-party stump speech we need".[151] 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".[152]

""Round black seal with green and white lettering.
Insignia of the "No Labels organization.

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.[104]

In late 2015, the "No Labels organization, co-founded by Avlon,[153] 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.[154] 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.[154] 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".[155]

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[156] and Dave Anderson in Maryland.[134]


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.[158][nb 17]

Objections to policies, assumptions, and attitudes[edit]

Some 21st century commentators argue that radical centrist policies are not substantially different from conventional "centrist ideas.[10][160] For example, U.S. economist "Robert Kuttner says there already is a radical centrist party –"It's called the Democrats".[161] 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.[162]

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.[55]

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.[131] 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.[131]

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".[2] 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".[160]

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.[163] 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.[119]

""Thomas Friedman in suit clasping hands below chin.
"Thomas Friedman's columns supporting radical centrism are a favorite target for "bloggers.[10]

Radical centrist attitudes have also been criticized. For example, many "bloggers have characterized "Thomas Friedman's columns on radical centrism as elitist and glib.[10] In Australia, some think that Australian attorney "Noel Pearson – long an advocate of radical centrism – is in fact a "polarizing partisan".[164]

Objections to strategies[edit]

Some observers question the wisdom of seeking consensus, "post-partisanship or reconciliation in political life.[10] 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.[10]

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.[165]

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.[10] The specific third-party vehicle favored by many U.S. radical centrists in 2012 – "Americans Elect[166] – was criticized as an "elite-driven party"[10] supported by a "dubious group of Wall Street multi-millionaires".[161]

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.[167]

Internal concerns[edit]

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.[29]

Another concern is passion. "John Avlon fears that some centrists cannot resist the lure of passionate partisans, whom he calls ""wingnuts".[168] 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.[169]

Radical centrism as dialogue and process[edit]

""Dozens of people talking at tables in a large room.
"AmericaSpeaks event, 2011. Some organizations are catalyzing dialogues and fresh thinking among often polarized people and groups.

Some radical centrists, such as theorist "Tom Atlee,[64] "mediator Mark Gerzon,[170] and activist "Joseph F. McCormick,[64] see radical centrism as primarily a commitment to process.[64][171] Their approach is to facilitate processes of "structured dialogue among polarized people and groups, from the neighborhood level on up.[64][172] A major goal is to enable dialogue participants to come up with new perspectives and solutions that can address every party's core interests.[64][173] Onward Christian Athletes author Tom Krattenmaker speaks of the radical center as that (metaphoric) space where such dialogue and innovation can occur.[11]

Organizations seeking to catalyze dialogue and innovation among diverse people and groups have included "AmericaSpeaks,[174] "C1 World Dialogue,[175] Everyday Democracy, [176] Listening Project (North Carolina),[177] Living Room Conversations,[154][178] Public Conversations Project,[64][179] "Search for Common Ground,[180] and Village Square.[154] 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.[11]

In 2005, "The Atlantic portrayed Egyptian Islamic cleric "Ali Gomaa as the voice of an emergent form of radical Islam – "traditionalism without the extremism".[181] In 2012, in an article entitled "The Radical Middle: Building Bridges Between the Muslim and Western Worlds,[175] 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.[182]

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.[183][184]


  1. ^ For an extended discussion of neoclassical American pragmatism and its possible political implications, see "Louis Menand's book "The Metaphysical Club.[13]
  2. ^ 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.[15]
  3. ^ In the 1980s, Satin's own Washington, D.C.-based political newsletter, New Options, described itself as "post-liberal".[20] Culture critic Annie Gottlieb says it urged the "New Left and "New Age to "evolve into a 'New Center'".[21]
  4. ^ 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.[25]
  5. ^ Warren's book influenccd "Michael Lind and other 21st century radical centrists.[2][29]
  6. ^ 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".[31]
  7. ^ 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.[25][37] 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.[2]
  8. ^ 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.[38] The article discusses what it describes as the group's virtual manifesto, "E. J. Dionne's book Why Americans Hate Politics.[39]
  9. ^ In 2010, radical centrist Michael Lind stated that "to date, "President Obama has been the soft-spoken tribune of the mushy middle".[29]
  10. ^ 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.[97]
  11. ^ 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.[55][99]
  12. ^ 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.[101][102]
  13. ^ In 1997, forty-eight years after first being elected to the "Canadian Parliament, Hellyer founded a minor political party, the "Canadian Action Party.[128]
  14. ^ 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".[144] At a conference in Berlin, Canadian Prime Minister "Jean Chrétien declared, "I am the radical center".[41]
  15. ^ In 2009, on "The Huffington Post website, the president of The Future 500[148] – following up on his earlier endorsement of the "radical middle"[149] – made the case for a ""transpartisan" alliance between left and right.[150]
  16. ^ 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.[157]
  17. ^ Mouffe also criticized radical centrism for its "New Age rhetorical flourish".[159]


  1. ^ a b c d e 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  3. ^ Halstead, Ted; Lind, Michael (2001). The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics. Doubleday/Random House, p. 16. "ISBN "978-0-385-50045-6.
  4. ^ a b c 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.
  5. ^ Satin, Mark (2004). Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now. Westview Press and Basic Books, p. 5. "ISBN "978-0-8133-4190-3.
  6. ^ Avlon (2004), p. 109.
  7. ^ a b 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.
  8. ^ a b 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.
  9. ^ a b Avlon (2004), Part 4.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Marx, Greg (25 July 2011). "Tom Friedman's 'Radical' Wrongness". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Krattenmaker, Tom (27 December 2012). "Welcome to the 'Radical Middle'". USA Today newspaper, p. A12. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  12. ^ Solomon, Robert C. (2003). A Better Way to Think About Business: How Personal Integrity Leads to Corporate Success. Oxford University Press. "ISBN "978-0-19-538315-7.
  13. ^ Menand, Louis (2001). The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Part Five. "ISBN "978-0-374-19963-0.
  14. ^ Solomon Robert C. Higgins, Kathleen M. (1996). A Short History of Philosophy. Oxford University Press, pp. 93, 66, 161, 179, 222, 240, and 298. "ISBN "978-0-19-510-196-6.
  15. ^ Jackson, Bill (1999). The Quest for the Radical Middle: A History of the Vineyard. Vineyard International Publishing, pp. 18–21. "ISBN "978-0-620-24319-3.
  16. ^ Satin (2004), p. 30.
  17. ^ a b Stratton, Allegra; Wintour, Patrick (13 March 2011). "Nick Clegg Tells Lib Dems They Belong in 'Radical Centre' of British Politics". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  18. ^ Avlon, John (2004), pp. 26, 173, 223, 244, and 257.
  19. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 10, 23, and 30
  20. ^ Rosenberg, Jeff (17 March 1989). "Mark's Ism: New Options's Editor Builds a New Body Politic". Washington City Paper, pp 6–8.
  21. ^ Gottlieb, Annie (1987). Do You Believe in Magic?: Bringing thev 60s Back Home. Simon & Schuster, p. 154. "ISBN "978-0-671-66050-5.
  22. ^ Satin (2004), p. 22.
  23. ^ Feiffer, Jules (21 January 1962). "We've All Heard of the Radical Right and the Radical Left ... ". Library of Congress website. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  24. ^ Feiffer, Jules (2010). Backing into Forward: A Memoir. Nan A. Talese / Doubleday, p. 345. "ISBN "978-0-385-53158-0.
  25. ^ a b Judis, John (16 October 1995). "TRB from Washington: Off Center". The New Republic, vol. 213, no. 16, pp. 4 and 56.
  26. ^ Adler, Renata (1969). Toward a Radical Middle: Fourteen Pieces of Reporting and Criticism. Random House, pp. xiii–xxiv. "ISBN "978-0-394-44916-6.
  27. ^ a b Adler (1969), p. xxiii.
  28. ^ Warren, Donald I. (1976). The Radical Center: Middle Americans and the Politics of Alienation. University of Notre Dame Press, Chap. 1. "ISBN "978-0-268-01594-7.
  29. ^ a b c d e Lind, Michael (20 April 2010). "Now More than Ever, We Need a Radical Center". website. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  30. ^ Ferguson, Marilyn (1980). The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s. J. P. Tarcher Inc./Houghton Mifflin, pp. 228–29. "ISBN "978-0-87477-191-6.
  31. ^ Naisbitt, John (1982). Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. Warner Books/Warner Communications Company, p. 178. "ISBN "978-0-446-35681-7.
  32. ^ Wolfe, Alan (1996). Marginalized in the Middle. University of Chicago Press, p. 16. "ISBN "978-0-226-90516-7.
  33. ^ Author unidentified (30 January 1995). "The 100 Smartest New Yorkers". New York Magazine, vol. 28, no. 5, p. 41.
  34. ^ Crouch, Stanley (1995). The All-American Skin Game; or, The Decoy of Race. Pantheon Books, p. 1 of "Introduction". "ISBN "978-0-679-44202-8.
  35. ^ Satin (2004), p. 10.
  36. ^ a b c d Klein, Joe (24 September 1995). "Stalking the Radical Middle". Newsweek, vol. 126, no. 13, pp. 32–36. Web version identifies the author as "Newsweek Staff". Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  37. ^ Lind, Michael (3 December 1995). "The Radical Center or The Moderate Middle?" The New York Times Magazine, pp. 72–73. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  38. ^ Duffy, Michael (20 May 1991). "Looking for The Radical Middle". Time magazine, vol. 137, no. 20, p. 60. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  39. ^ Dionne, E. J. (1991). Why Americans Hate Politics. Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. "ISBN "978-0-671-68255-2.
  40. ^ Giddens, Anthony (1998). The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy. Polity Press, pp. 44–46. "ISBN "978-0-7456-2267-5.
  41. ^ a b Andrews, Edward L. (4 June 2000). "Growing Club of Left-Leaning Leaders Strains to Find a Focus". The Nev York Times, p. 6.
  42. ^ Giddens, Anthony (2000). The Third Way and Its Critics. Polity Press, Chap. 2 ("Social Democracy and the Third Way"). "ISBN "978-0-7456-2450-1.
  43. ^ a b Reeves, Richard (19 September 2012). "The Case for a Truly Liberal Party". The New Statesman, p. 26. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  44. ^ Smith, Ben (7 February 2011). "The End of the DLC Era". Politico website. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  45. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 263.
  46. ^ Burns, James MacGregor; Sorenson, Georgia J. (1999). Dead Center: Clinton-Gore Leadership and the Perils of Moderation. Scribner, p. 221. "ISBN "978-0-684-83778-9.
  47. ^ Satin (2004), p. ix.
  48. ^ Ray, Paul H.; Anderson, Sherry Ruth (2000). The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World. Harmony Books/Random House, pp. xiv and 336. "ISBN "978-0-609-60467-0.
  49. ^ Satin (2004), p. 10 (citing "big-picture introductions" by Halstead-Lind and Miller).
  50. ^ Wall, Wendy L. (2008). Inventing the 'American Way': The Politics of Consensus from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Movement. Oxford University Press, pp. 297–98 n. 25 (citing Avlon, Halstead-Lind, and Satin as contemporary calls to the creative center). "ISBN "978-0-19-532910-0.
  51. ^ Avlon (2004), p. 3.
  52. ^ Avlon (2004), pp. 378–79.
  53. ^ Miller (2003), p. xiv.
  54. ^ Lind, Michael (1996). Up from Conservatism: Why the Right Is Wrong for America. Free Press / Simon & Schuster, p. 259. "ISBN "978-0-684-83186-2.
  55. ^ a b c d Morin, Richard; Deane, Claudia (10 December 2001). "Big Thinker. Ted Halstead's New America Foundation Has It All: Money, Brains and Buzz". The Washington Post, Style section, p. 1.
  56. ^ Gaard, Greta (1998). Ecological Politics: Ecofeminism and the Greens. Temple University Press, pp. 142–43. "ISBN "978-1-56639-569-4.
  57. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 16.
  58. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 3–5.
  59. ^ a b c d Avlon (2004), pp. 277–93 ("Radical Centrists").
  60. ^ Miller (2003), pp. ix–xiii.
  61. ^ a b Miller (2003), pp. xii–xii.
  62. ^ Avlon (2004), p. 21.
  63. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), pp. 6–12.
  64. ^ a b c d e f g Utne, Leif (September–October 2004). "The Radical Middle". Utne Reader, issue no. 125, pp. 80–85. Contains brief interviews with 10 radical centrists including Halstead, Satin, "Tom Atlee, "Laura Chasin, "Joseph F. McCormick, and "Joel Rogers. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  65. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 5–6.
  66. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), pp. 13, 56-58, and 64.
  67. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 14–17.
  68. ^ Avlon (2004), pp. 1 and 13.
  69. ^ Miller (2003), p. 52.
  70. ^ Avlon (2004), p. 19.
  71. ^ a b Halstead and Lind (2001), pp. 223–24.
  72. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 19.
  73. ^ a b Satin (2004), pp. 6–8.
  74. ^ Miller (2003), Chap. 4.
  75. ^ Miller (2003), cited above.
  76. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 78.
  77. ^ Miller (2003), p. 207.
  78. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 154.
  79. ^ Miller (2003), Chap. 7.
  80. ^ Miiller (2003), Chap. 6.
  81. ^ Satin (2004), Chap. 7.
  82. ^ Avlon (2004), pp. 15 and 26–43 (on Theodore Roosevelt).
  83. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 14.
  84. ^ Miller (2003), Chap. 8.
  85. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 92–93.
  86. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), pp. 170–76.
  87. ^ Satin (2004), Chap. 8.
  88. ^ Avlon (2004), pp. 257–76 (on Senator Edward W. Brooke).
  89. ^ Satin (2004), Chaps. 13–15.
  90. ^ Avlon (2004), pp. 10–13.
  91. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 17–18.
  92. ^ Halstead and Lind (2004), pp. 214–23.
  93. ^ Avlon (2004), p. 18.
  94. ^ Miller (2003), p. 230, and Postscript.
  95. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), pp. 109–28.
  96. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 198–202.
  97. ^ 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.
  98. ^ Satin (2004), Chap. 18.
  99. ^ Halstead, ed. (2004), pp. v–vii and xiii.
  100. ^ Satin (2004), pp. 22–23 ("Franklin to Peters to You").
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  112. ^ 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.
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  114. ^ 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.
  115. ^ Haidt, Jonathan (2012). The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Pantheon Books, Introduction. "ISBN "978-0-307-37790-6.
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  123. ^ Vaz, Sofia Guedes (2017). Environment: Why Read the Classics? Routledge, p. 18. "ISBN "978-1-906093-75-4.
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  128. ^ a b "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.
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  136. ^ Sifry, Micah L. (2003). Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America. Routledge, Section II ("Organizing the Angry Middle"). "ISBN "978-0-415-93142-7.
  137. ^ Miller (2003), p. 187.
  138. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), p. 115.
  139. ^ Avlon (2004), p. 284.
  140. ^ Miller (2003), p. 178.
  141. ^ Halstead and Lind (2001), Chap. 5 ("The Politics of the Radical Center").
  142. ^ Satin (2004), Part Six ("Be a Player, Not a Rebel").
  143. ^ Avlon (2004), p. 277.
  144. ^ Richardson, Elliot (1996). Reflections of a Radical Moderate. Pantheon Books, Preface. "ISBN "978-0-679-42820-6.
  145. ^ "Grunwald, Michael (25 June 2007). "The New Action Heroes". "Time magazine, vol. 169, no. 26, pp. 32–38. Cover story.
  146. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (24 March 2010). "A Tea Party Without Nuts". The New York Times, p. A27. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
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  148. ^ Future 500. Official website. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
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  159. ^ Mouffe (summer 1998), p. 12.
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  168. ^ 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.
  169. ^ Satin, Mark (fall 2002). "Where's the Juice?". The Responsive Community, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 74–75. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  170. ^ Satin (2004), p. 27.
  171. ^ Gerzon, Mark (2006). Leading Through Conflict: How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunity. Harvard Business School Press, pp. 4–8. "ISBN "978-1-59139-919-3.
  172. ^ Gerzon (2006, Chaps. 9–10.
  173. ^ Gerzon (2006), Chap. 11.
  174. ^ 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.
  175. ^ a b "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.
  176. ^ Gerzon (2016), pp. 63–64.
  177. ^ Satin, Mark (1991). New Options for America: The Second American Experiment Has Begun. The Press at California State University, Fresno, pp. 209–212. "ISBN "978-0-8093-1794-3.
  178. ^ Gerzon (2016), pp. 60–61.
  179. ^ Gerzon (2016), pp. 53–54.
  180. ^ Satin (1991), Chap. 24 ("Win Every 'Battle' – or Change the Discourse?").
  181. ^ "Wilson, G. Willow (July-August 2005). "The Show-Me Sheikh". "The Atlantic, vol. 296, no. 1, p. 40. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  182. ^ Gomaa (2012), p. 5.
  183. ^ 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.
  184. ^ Waggoner, Nick, ed. (13 October 2017). "Ex-Green Beret Nick Boyer Writes Open Latter to Trump, Kaepernick, NFL and America". " See last paragraph. Retrieved 16 October 2017.

Further reading[edit]

Books from the 1990s[edit]

Books from the 2000s[edit]

Books from the 2010s[edit]

Manifestos, in chronological order[edit]

External links[edit]


Opinion websites[edit]

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