Cambridge University Press (2010)

The political institutions under which we live today evolved from a revolutionary idea that shook the world in the second part of the eighteenth century: that a people should govern itself. Yet if we judge contemporary democracies by the ideals of self-government, equality, and liberty, we find that democracy is not what it was dreamt to be. This book addresses central issues in democratic theory by analyzing the sources of widespread dissatisfaction with democracies around the world. With attention throughout to historical and cross-national variations, the focus is on the generic limits of democracy in promoting equality, effective participation, control of governments by citizens, and liberty. The conclusion is that although some of this dissatisfaction has good reasons, some is based on an erroneous understanding of how democracy functions. Hence, although the analysis identifies the limits of democracy, it also points to directions for feasible reforms
Keywords Democracy History  Democracy Philosophy  Representative government and representation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy this book Find it on
Call number JC421.P795 2010
ISBN(s) 0521761034   9780521761031     0521140110
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,256
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Nonideal Democratic Authority: The Case of Undemocratic Elections.Alexander S. Kirshner - 2018 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (3):257-276.
Democracia y justicia procedimental.Diego Alejandro Otero Angelini - 2020 - Revista de Filosofía 45 (1):105-119.
O Argumento da Estabilidade No Contratualismo de John Rawls.Petroni Lucas - 2017 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 58 (136):139-161.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
25 ( #420,521 of 2,419,702 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #350,869 of 2,419,702 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes