Contemporary Political Theory 8 (1):68-89 (2009)

This essay demonstrates that the management and contestability of power is central to Dewey's understanding of democracy and provides a middle ground between two opposite poles within democratic theory: Either the masses become the genuine danger to democratic governance or elites are described as bent on controlling the masses. Yet, the answer to managing the relationship between them and the demos is never forthcoming. I argue that Dewey's response to Lippmann for how we ought to conceive of the relationship between citizens and elites if power is not to become arbitrary is located within a larger framework that avoids the problematic distinction Wolin draws between the demos and representative government. For Dewey, the legitimacy of decision-making, and, indeed, the security of freedom, is determined not merely by our actual involvement, but the extent to which non-participation does not preclude the future contestability of power.
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DOI 10.1057/cpt.2008.25
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References found in this work BETA

Democracy and Disagreement.Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson - 1996 - Ethics 108 (3):607-610.
Power: A Radical View.Steven Lukes & Jack H. Nagel - 1976 - Political Theory 4 (2):246-249.
Précis of Democratic Autonomy.Henry S. Richardson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):187–195.
John Dewey and American Democracy.Robert B. WESTBROOK - 1991 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 28 (3):593-601.

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