The Prospect's Mission

At the dawn of a new progressive era and a time of economic transformation for the United States and the world, The American Prospect will strengthen the capacity of activists, engaged citizens, and public officials to pursue new policies and new possibilities for social justice.

The Prospect was founded in 1990 by Robert Kuttner, Robert Reich, and Paul Starr as an authoritative magazine of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics. The magazine's founding purpose was to demonstrate that progressive ideas could animate a majority politics; to restore to intellectual and political respectability the case for social investment; to energize civic democracy and give voice to the disenfranchised; and to counteract the growing influence of conservative media.

Across two decades, the Prospect has served as a vital link between ideas and political activism. The Prospect enables those who want to understand how public policies affect their lives, and how they can affect public policies, to see the opportunities and challenges of the moment. The Prospect shines a light onto the corner where politics and policy meet, illuminating the forces that shape progressive social change. Its respected, reliable journalism puts a human face on public questions. It provides a forum for productive debate about social justice and reform, from small policy choices with big implications to overarching ideas about our obligations to one another. It brings new ideas and perspectives into the mainstream of public conversation. And through its Writing Fellows program and other initiatives, the Prospect opens a pathway for new, younger, and more diverse voices to join the public debate.

The viewpoint of the Prospect is that of committed, engaged progressives--realistic but committed to the idea that there is greater range for genuinely transformative policies than is often imagined, especially in Washington. We believe in an economy that provides broadly shared prosperity, and in which a foundation of economic security allows all people to make the most of their own talents and aspirations. We believe in a renewed democracy, based on transparency and civic engagement. Prospect writers and columnists have written emphatically about the need for a decisive and ambitious response to the current economic crisis, about the urgency of universal health care as well as the options for achieving it, about the revolutionary possibilities of climate change legislation as well as the political obstacles to achieving it.

At the same time, we take seriously our role as a forum for constructive debate and civil argument about ideas across a wide range of the center-left political spectrum. We don't have a party line, because we believe that robust, challenging internal debate, as well as honest and respectful engagement with philosophical conservatism, will strengthen our ideas, resolve weaknesses, and find the basis for compromise that leads to change.

The Prospect 's articles generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas. Political leaders and journalists look to the Prospect to see what smart, resolute liberals have to say. So do our subscribers, who include notables and ordinary citizens who want a practical politics for a progressive America.