Dewey's book on Democracy and Education established his credentials in the field of education and once counted as his most important book. It has been re-published in many editions and continuously in print ever since the original publication in 1916.
The distinguished author of books on psychology, ethics, and politics, John Dewey specialized in the philosophy of education. In this landmark work on public education, Dewey discusses methods of providing quality public education in a democratic society. First published close to 90 years ago, Democracy and Education sounded the call for a revolution in education, stressing growth, experience, and activity as factors that promote a democratic character in students and lead to the advancement of self and society. Unabridged reproduction (...) of the classic 1916 edition. (shrink)
Democracy used to be seen as a relatively mechanical matter of merely adding up everyone's votes in free and fair elections. That mechanistic model has many virtues, among them allowing democracy to 'track the truth', where purely factual issues are all that is at stake. Political disputes invariably mix facts with values, however, and then it is essential to listen to what people are saying rather than merely note how they are voting. The great challenge is how to (...) implement that deliberative ideal among millions of people at once. In this strikingly original book, Goodin offers a solution: 'democratic deliberation within'. Building on models of ordinary conversational dynamics, he suggests that people simply imagine themselves in the position of various other people they have heard or read about and ask, 'What would they say about this proposal?' Informing the democratic imaginary then becomes the key to making deliberations more reflective - more empathetic, more considered, more expansive across time and distance. (shrink)
This book articulates a participatory conception of deliberative democracy that takes the democratic ideal of self-government seriously. It aims to improve citizens' democratic control and vindicate the value of citizens' participation against conceptions that threaten to undermine it. The book critically analyzes deep pluralist, epistocratic, and lottocratic conceptions of democracy. Their defenders propose various institutional ''shortcuts'' to help solve problems of democratic governance such as overcoming disagreements, citizens' political ignorance, or poor-quality deliberation. However, all these shortcut proposals require (...) citizens to blindly defer to actors over whose decisions they cannot exercise control. Implementing such proposals would therefore undermine democracy. Moreover, it seems naive to assume that a community can reach better outcomes 'faster' if it bypasses the beliefs and attitudes of its citizens. Unfortunately, there are no 'shortcuts' to make a community better than its members. The only road to better outcomes is the long, participatory road that is taken when citizens forge a collective will by changing one another's hearts and minds. However difficult the process of justifying political decisions to one another may be, skipping it cannot get us any closer to the democratic ideal. Starting from this conviction, the book defends a conception of democracy ''without shortcuts''. This conception sheds new light on long-standing debates about the proper scope of public reason, the role of religion in politics, and the democratic legitimacy of judicial review. It also proposes new ways to unleash the democratic potential of institutional innovations such as deliberative minipublics. (shrink)
This paper generalises the classical Condorcet jury theorem from majority voting over two options to plurality voting over multiple options. The paper further discusses the debate between epistemic and procedural democracy and situates its formal results in that debate. The paper finally compares a number of different social choice procedures for many-option choices in terms of their epistemic merits. An appendix explores the implications of some of the present mathematical results for the question of how probable majority cycles (as (...) in Condorcet's paradox) are in large electorates. (shrink)
Today democracy is both exalted as the "best means to realize human rights" and seen as weakened because of globalization and delegation of authority beyond the nation-state. In this provocative book, James Bohman argues that democracies face a period of renewal and transformation and that democracy itself needs redefinition according to a new transnational ideal. Democracy, he writes, should be rethought in the plural; it should no longer be understood as rule by the people, singular, with a (...) specific territorial identification and connotation, but as rule by peoples, across national boundaries. Bohman shows that this new conception of transnational democracy requires reexamination of such fundamental ideas as the people, the public, citizenship, human rights, and federalism, and he argues that it offers a feasible approach to realizing democracy in a globalized world.In his account, Bohman establishes the conceptual foundations of transnational democracy by examining in detail current theories of democracy beyond the nation-state and offers a deliberative alternative. He considers the importance of communicative freedom in the transnational public sphere, human rights as the normative basis of transnational democracy, and the European Union as a transnational polity. Finally, he examines the relationship between peace and democracy, concluding that peace requires democratization on interacting state and suprastate levels. (shrink)
The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet Jury Theorem to formally justify the ‘wisdom of crowds’. But this theorem is inapplicable in its current form, since one of its premises – voter independence – is notoriously violated. This premise carries responsibility for the theorem's misleading conclusion that ‘large crowds are infallible’. We prove a more useful jury theorem: under defensible premises, ‘large crowds are fallible but better than small groups’. This theorem rehabilitates the importance of (...) deliberation and education, which appear inessential in the classical jury framework. Our theorem is related to Ladha's (1993) seminal jury theorem for interchangeable (‘indistinguishable’) voters based on de Finetti's Theorem. We also prove a more general and simpler such jury theorem. (shrink)
Taken as a model for how groups should make collective judgments and decisions, the ideal of deliberative democracy is inherently ambiguous. Consider the idealised case where it is agreed on all sides that a certain conclusion should be endorsed if and only if certain premises are admitted. Does deliberative democracy recommend that members of the group debate the premises and then individually vote, in the light of that debate, on whether or not to support the conclusion? Or does (...) it recommend that members individually vote on the premises, and then let their commitment to the conclusion be settled by whether or not the group endorses the required premises? Deliberative-democratic theory has not addressed this issue, and this is a problem. The discursive dilemma of my title--a generalisation of the doctrinal paradox from analytical jurisprudence--shows that the procedures distinguished can come apart. Thus deliberative democrats must make up their minds on where they stand in relation to the issue; they cannot sit on the fence. This paper is an attempt to address the issue and look at the grounds on which it may be resolved. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction: class, liberty, and popular government; Part I: 2. Peoples, patricians, and the prince; 3. Democratic republics and the oppressive appetite of young nobles; Part II: 4. The benefits and limits of popular participation and judgment; 5. Elections, lotteries and class specific institutions; 6. Political trials and 'the free way of life'; Part III: 7. Republicanism and democracy; 8. Post-electoral republics and the people's tribunate revived.
Hobbits and hooligans -- Ignorant, irrational, misinformed nationalists -- Political participation corrupts -- Politics doesn't empower you or me -- Politics is not a poem -- The right to competent government -- Is democracy competent? -- The rule of the knowers -- Civic enemies.
Although the modern age is often described as the age of democratic revolutions, the subject of popular foundings has not captured the imagination of contemporary political thought. Most of the time, democratic theory and political science treat as the object of their inquiry normal politics, institutionalized power, and consolidated democracies. The aim of Andreas Kalyvas' study is to show why it is important for democratic theory to rethink the question of its beginnings. Is there a founding unique to democracies? Can (...) a democracy be democratically established? What are the implications of expanding democratic politics in light of the question of whether and how to address democracy's beginnings? Kalyvas addresses these questions and scrutinizes the possibility of democratic beginnings in terms of the category of the extraordinary, as he reconstructs it from the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt and their views on the creation of new political, symbolic, and constitutional orders. (shrink)
Taken as a model for how groups should make collective judgments and decisions, the ideal of deliberative democracy is inherently ambiguous. Consider the idealised case where it is agreed on all sides that a certain conclusion should be endorsed if and only if certain premises are admitted. Does deliberative democracy recommend that members of the group debate the premises and then individually vote, in the light of that debate, on whether or not to support the conclusion? Or does (...) it recommend that members individually vote on the premises, and then let their commitment to the conclusion be settled by whether or not the group endorses the required premises? Is deliberative democracy to enforce the discipline of reason at the individual level, as in the first possibility, or at the collective level, as in the second? (shrink)
In Overdoing Democracy, Robert B. Talisse turns the popular adage "the cure for democracy's ills is more democracy" on its head. Indeed, he argues, the widely recognized, crisis-level polarization within contemporary democracy stems from the tendency among citizens to overdo democracy. When we make everything--even where we shop, the teams we cheer for, and the coffee we drink--about our politics, we weaken our bonds to one another, and work against the fundamental goals of democracy. (...) Talisse advocates civic friendship built around shared endeavors that we must undertake with fellow citizens who do not necessarily share our political affinities as the best way we can obtain a healthier, more sustainable democracy. (shrink)
Though responses to Stout's book, "Democracy and Tradition," have touched on his discussion of rights, none has comprehensively examined his position on the subject. Having endorsed several objections Stout raises against some influential views on democracy and rights, this article proceeds to criticize Stout's description and theoretical account of the natural and human rights traditions. The central argument is that Stout cannot successfully both affirm the traditions and adhere to his account.
Why democracy? Most often this question is met with an appeal to some decidedly moral value, such as equality, liberty, dignity or even peace. But in contemporary democratic societies, there is deep disagreement and conflict about the precise nature and relative worth of these values. And when democracy votes, some of those who lose will see the prevailing outcome as not merely disappointing, but morally intolerable. How should citizens react when confronted with a democratic result that they regard (...) as intolerable? Should they revolt, or instead pursue democratic means of social change? In this book, Robert Talisse argues that each of us has reasons to uphold democracy - even when it makes serious moral errors - and that these reasons are rooted in our most fundamental epistemic commitments. His original and compelling study will be of interest to a wide range of readers in political philosophy and political theory. (shrink)
"Open Democracy envisions what true government by mass leadership could look like."—Nathan Heller, New Yorker How a new model of democracy that opens up power to ordinary citizens could strengthen inclusiveness, responsiveness, and accountability in modern societies To the ancient Greeks, democracy meant gathering in public and debating laws set by a randomly selected assembly of several hundred citizens. To the Icelandic Vikings, democracy meant meeting every summer in a field to discuss issues until consensus was (...) reached. Our contemporary representative democracies are very different. Modern parliaments are gated and guarded, and it seems as if only certain people—with the right suit, accent, wealth, and connections—are welcome. Diagnosing what is wrong with representative government and aiming to recover some of the lost openness of ancient democracies, Open Democracy presents a new paradigm of democracy in which power is genuinely accessible to ordinary citizens. Hélène Landemore favors the ideal of “representing and being represented in turn” over direct-democracy approaches. Supporting a fresh nonelectoral understanding of democratic representation, Landemore recommends centering political institutions around the “open mini-public”—a large, jury-like body of randomly selected citizens gathered to define laws and policies for the polity, in connection with the larger public. She also defends five institutional principles as the foundations of an open democracy: participatory rights, deliberation, the majoritarian principle, democratic representation, and transparency. Open Democracy demonstrates that placing ordinary citizens, rather than elites, at the heart of democratic power is not only the true meaning of a government of, by, and for the people, but also feasible and, today more than ever, urgently needed. (shrink)
Imperialism seems to be deeply antithetical to democracy. Yet, at least one form of imperialism – what I call “hands-off imperialism" – seems to be perfectly compatible with the kind of self-governance commonly thought to be the hallmark of democracy. The solution to this puzzle is to recognize that democracy involves more than self-governance. Rather, it involves what I call self-rule. Self-rule is an example of what Philip Pettit has called a modally demanding value. Modally demanding values (...) are, roughly, values the instantiation of which depends not only on what actually happens, but on what would happen in certain non-actual circumstances. Self-rule is the modally demanding counterpart of self-governance, since it requires, not merely that the members of a state actually govern themselves, but that they would continue to do so across a range of non-actual situations. Moreover, the value of self-rule (and hence democracy) is not reducible to the value of self-governance. Understanding the modally demanding character of democracy allows us to appreciate what is democratically objectionable about occupation by a foreign power, even if there is no prospect of the foreign power intervening in the governance of the occupied state by its members. (shrink)
In this strikingly original book, one of the leading scholars in the field focuses on the influential idea of deliberative democracy. Goodin examines the great challenge of how to implement the deliberative ideal among millions of people at once and comes up with a novel solution: 'democratic deliberation within'.
Revisioning macro-democratic processes in light of the processes and promise of micro-deliberation, Innovating Democracy provides an integrated perspective on democratic theory and practice after the deliberative turn.
One of the main reasons that liberal democratic societies are not ill-prepared to confront the present challenge presented by disaffection with democratic institutions, is that the type of political theory currently in vogue is dominated by an individualistic, universalistic, and rationalistic framework. This erases the dimension of the political and impedes envisaging in an adequate manner the nature of a pluralistic democratic public sphere. This paper examines the most recent paradigm of liberal democracy: 'deliberative democracy', in order to (...) bring to the fore its shortcomings. Then, the authos puts forward some element for the elaboration of an alternative model that she proposes to call 'agonistic pluralism'. (shrink)
I analyze the relation between deliberative democracy and trust through the lens of epistemic justice. I argue for three main claims: (i) the deliberative impasse dividing majority and minority groups in many democracies is due to a particular type of epistemic injustice, which I call ‘hermeneutical domination’; (ii) undoing hermeneutical domination requires epistemic trust; and (iii) this epistemic trust is supported by the three deliberative democratic requirements of equality, legitimacy, and accountability. In arguing for those claims, I contribute to (...) the conceptualization of both epistemic injustice and domination, as well as to discussions of trust and deliberative democracy. (shrink)
In her recent book, Democratic Reason, Hélène Landemore argues that, when evaluated epistemically, “a democratic decision procedure is likely to be a better decision procedure than any non-democratic decision procedures, such as a council of experts or a benevolent dictator” (p. 3). Landemore's argument rests heavily on studies of collective intelligence done by Lu Hong and Scott Page. These studies purport to show that cognitive diversity – differences in how people solve problems – is actually more important to overall group (...) performance than average individual ability – how smart the individual members are. Landemore's argument aims to extrapolate from these results to the conclusion that democracy is epistemically better than any non-democratic rival. I argue here that Hong and Page's results actually undermine, rather than support, this conclusion. More specifically, I argue that the results do not show that democracy is better than any non-democratic alternative, and that in fact, they suggest the opposite – that at least some non-democratic alternatives are likely to epistemically outperform democracy. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This article argues that current economic upheaval should be understood as a problem of domination, in two respects: the ‘dyadic’ domination of one actor by another, and the ‘structural’ domination of individuals by a diffuse, decentralized, but nevertheless human-made system. Such domination should be contested through specifically democratic political mobilization, through institutions and practices that expand the political agency of citizens themselves. The article advances this argument by synthesizing two traditions of political thought. It reconstructs radical democratic theory from the (...) Progressive Era. These thinkers in turn help to reinforce contemporary debates in neorepublican thought, resolving disputes over the scope of domination and the relationship between domination and democracy. This synthesis offers a novel normative framework for diagnosing and responding to the current combination of economic upheaval and political dysfunction. (shrink)
It is now widely accepted as an ideal that democracy should be as deliberative as possible. Democracy should not involve a tussle between different interest groups or lobbies in which the numbers matter more than the arguments. And it should not be a system in which the only arguments that matter are those that voters conduct in an attempt to determine where their private or sectional advantage lies. Democracy, it is said, should promote public deliberation among citizens (...) and authorities as to what does best for the society as a whole and should elicit decision-making on that basis. But the ideal of deliberative democracy has two components—the deliberative and the democratic—and often they pull apart. In this paper I look in the ﬁrst section at a series of problems that arise on the deliberative front, arguing that their resolution requires various degrees of depoliticization. And then I ask in the second whether the depoliticizing responses that those problems require are antithetical to the ideal of democracy. I argue that they are not in tension with the ideal, if that ideal is cast in the relatively revisionary, two-dimensional form that I favour. (shrink)
A new emphasis on diversity and difference is displacing older myths of nation or community. A new attention to gender, race, language or religion is disrupting earlier preoccupations with class. But the welcome extended to heterogeneity can bring with it a disturbing fragmentation and closure. Can we develop a vision of democracy through difference: a politics that neither denies group identities nor capitulates to them? In this volume, Anne Phillips develops the feminist challenge to exclusionary versions of democracy, (...) citizenship and equality. Relating this to the crisis in socialist theory, the growing unease with the pretensions of Enlightenment rationality, and the recent recuperation of liberal democracy as the only viable politics, she builds on debates within feminism to address general questions of difference. When democracies try to wish away group difference and inequality, they fail to meet their egalitarian promise. When yearnings towards an undifferentiated unity become the basis for radical politics and change, too many groups drop out of the picture. Through her critical discussions of recent feminist and socialist theory Anne Phillips rejects this democracy of denial. She also warns, however, of the dangers on the other side. The simpler celebrations of diversity risk freezing group differences as they are, encouraging a patchwork of local identities from which people can speak only to themselves. Her arguments then combine in a powerful restatement of the case for a more active and participatory democracy. It is only through enhanced communication and discussion that people can respect and learn from their differences. (shrink)
What, if anything, is problematic about the involvement of celebrities in democratic politics? While a number of theorists have criticized celebrity involvement in politics (Meyer 2002; Mills 1957; Postman 1987) none so far have examined this issue using the tools of social epistemology, the study of the effects of social interactions, practices and institutions on knowledge and belief acquisition. This paper will draw on these resources to investigate the issue of celebrity involvement in politics, specifically as this involvement relates to (...) democratic theory and its implications for democratic practice. We will argue that an important and underexplored form of power, which we will call epistemic power, can explain one important way in which celebrity involvement in politics is problematic. This is because unchecked uses and unwarranted allocations of epistemic power, which celebrities tend to enjoy, threaten the legitimacy of existing democracies and raise important questions regarding core commitments of deliberative, epistemic, and plebiscitary models of democratic theory. We will finish by suggesting directions that democratic theorists could pursue when attempting to address some of these problems. (shrink)
Since Kant, philosophy has been obsessed with epistemological questions pertaining to the relationship between mind and world and human access to objects. In The Democracy of Objects Bryant proposes that we break with this tradition and once again initiate the project of ontology as first philosophy. Drawing on the object-oriented ontology of Graham Harman, as well as the thought Roy Bhaskar, Gilles Deleuze, Niklas Luhman, Aristotle, Jacques Lacan, Bruno Latour and the developmental systems theorists, Bryant develops a realist ontology (...) that he calls “onticology”. This ontology argues that being is composed entirely of objects, properties, and relations such that subjects themselves are a variant of objects. By way of systems theory and cybernetics, Bryant argues that objects are dynamic systems that relate to the world under conditions of operational closure. In this way, he integrates the most vital discoveries of the anti-realists within a realist ontology that does justice to both the material and cultural. Onticology proposes a flat ontology where objects of all sorts and at different scales equally exist without being reducible to other objects and where there are no transcendent entities such as eternal essences outside of dynamic interactions among objects. This work will be of great interest to Continental philosophers, ecologists, cultural theorists, media theorists, and those following recent developments in the thought of speculative realists. (shrink)
In this book, he argues that the purpose of democracy should be to promote justice - we need not just democracy (in the sense of unqualified democracy) but a just democracy. Machiavelli and Rawls must be brought together.
In her 2004 book Carol Gould addresses the fundamental issue of democratizing globalization, that is to say of finding ways to open transnational institutions and communities to democratic participation by those widely affected by their decisions. The book develops a framework for expanding participation in crossborder decisions, arguing for a broader understanding of human rights and introducing a new role for the ideas of care and solidarity at a distance. Reinterpreting the idea of universality to accommodate a multiplicity of cultural (...) perspectives, the author takes up a number of applied issues, including the persistence of racism, cultural rights, women's human rights, the democratic management of firms, the use of the Internet to enhance political participation, and the importance of empathy and genuine democracy in understanding terrorism and responding to it. Accessibly written with a minimum of technical jargon this is a major contribution to political philosophy. (shrink)
Western democracy is now at a critical juncture. Some worry that power has been wrested from the people and placed in the hands of a small political elite. Others argue that the democratic system gives too much power to a populace that is largely ill-informed and easily swayed by demagogues. This classic study of democratic principles is thus now more relevant than ever. A renowned historian of antiquity and political philosophy, Sir M.I. Finley offers a comparative analysis of Greek (...) and modern conceptions of democracy. As he puts the ancient Greeks in dialogue with their contemporary counterparts, Finley tackles some of the most pressing issues of our day, including public apathy, partisanship, consensus politics, distrust of professional politicians, and the limits of free speech. Including three lectures that Finley delivered at Rutgers University, plus two additional essays that further illuminate his thinking, _Democracy Ancient and Modern _explores the dramatic differences between the close-knit civil society of the ancient Greeks and our own atomized mass societies. By mapping out democracy’s past and its present manifestations, this book helps us plot a course for democracy’s future. (shrink)
Political philosopher Noelle McAfee proposes a powerful new political theory for our post-9/11 world, in which an old pathology-the repetition compulsion-has manifested itself in a seemingly endless war on terror. McAfee argues that the quintessentially human desire to participate in a world with others is the key to understanding the public sphere and to creating a more democratic society, a world that all members can have a hand in shaping. But when some are effectively denied this participation, whether through trauma (...) or terror, instead of democratic politics, there arises a political unconscious, an effect of desires unarticulated, failures to sublimate, voices kept silent, and repression reenacted. Not only is this condition undemocratic and unjust, it may lead to further trauma. Unless its troubles are worked through, a political community risks continual repetition and even self-destruction. McAfee deftly weaves together her experience as an observer of democratic life with an array of intellectual schemas, from poststructural psychoanalysis to Rawlsian and Habermasian democratic theories, as well as semiotics, civic republicanism, and American pragmatism. She begins with an analysis of the traumatic effects of silencing members of a political community. Then she explores the potential of deliberative dialogue and other "talking cures" and public testimonies, such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help societies work through, rather than continually act out, their conflicts. _Democracy and the Political Unconscious_ is rich in theoretical insights, but it is also grounded in the practical problems of those who are trying to process the traumas of oppression, terror, and brutality and create more decent and democratic societies. Drawing on a breathtaking range of theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, _Democracy and the Political Unconscious_ charts a course for democratic transformation in a world sorely lacking in democratic practice. (shrink)
"It is well to remind ourselves, from time to time, that "Ethics" is but another word for "righteousness," that for which many men and women of every generation have hungered and thirsted, and without which life becomes meaningless. Certain forms of personal righteousness have become to a majority of the community almost automatic. But we all know that each generation has its own test, the contemporaneous and current standard by which alone it can adequately judge of its own moral achievements. (...) To attain individual morality in an age demanding social morality, to pride one's self on the results of personal effort when the time demands social adjustment, is utterly to fail to apprehend the situation. This book is a study of various types and groups who are being impelled by the newer conception of Democracy to an acceptance of social obligations involving in each instance a new line of conduct."--. (shrink)
The quest for freedom from hunger and repression has triggered in recent years a dramatic, worldwide reform of political and economic systems. Never have so many people enjoyed, or at least experimented with democratic institutions. However, many strategies for economic development in Eastern Europe and Latin America have failed with the result that entire economic systems on both continents are being transformed. This major book analyzes recent transitions to democracy and market-oriented economic reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America. (...) Drawing in a quite distinctive way on models derived from political philosophy, economics, and game theory, Professor Przeworski also considers specific data on individual countries. Among the questions raised by the book are: What should we expect from these experiments in democracy and market economy? What new economic systems will emerge? Will these transitions result in new democracies or old dictatorships? (shrink)
Politics in America are polarized and trivialized, perhaps as never before. In Congress, the media, and academic debate, opponents from right and left, the Red and the Blue, struggle against one another as if politics were contact sports played to the shouts of cheerleaders. The result, Ronald Dworkin writes, is a deeply depressing political culture, as ill equipped for the perennial challenge of achieving social justice as for the emerging threats of terrorism. Can the hope for change be realized? Dworkin, (...) one the world's leading legal and political philosophers, identifies and defends core principles of personal and political morality that all citizens can share. He shows that recognizing such shared principles can make substantial political argument possible and help replace contempt with mutual respect. Only then can the full promise of democracy be realized in America and elsewhere. Dworkin lays out two core principles that citizens should share: first, that each human life is intrinsically and equally valuable and, second, that each person has an inalienable personal responsibility for identifying and realizing value in his or her own life. He then shows what fidelity to these principles would mean for human rights, the place of religion in public life, economic justice, and the character and value of democracy. Dworkin argues that liberal conclusions flow most naturally from these principles. Properly understood, they collide with the ambitions of religious conservatives, contemporary American tax and social policy, and much of the War on Terror. But his more basic aim is to convince Americans of all political stripes--as well as citizens of other nations with similar cultures--that they can and must defend their own convictions through their own interpretations of these shared values. (shrink)
Written by the preeminent democratic theorist of our time, this book explains the nature, value, and mechanics of democracy. In a new introduction to this Veritas edition, Ian Shapiro considers how Dahl would respond to the ongoing challenges democracy faces in the modern world. “Within the liberal democratic camp there is considerable controversy about exactly how to define democracy. Probably the most influential voice among contemporary political scientists in this debate has been that of Robert Dahl.”—Marc Plattner, (...) _New York Times_ “An excellent introduction for novices, as well as a trusty handbook for experts and political science mavens.”—_Publishers Weekly_. (shrink)
One of the key questions to have exercised green political theorists in recent years concerns the relationship of the environment 'agenda' and democracy. Both environmentalists and democrats have a tendency to think of each other as natural bedfellows but in fact there is little theoretical or practical reason why they should be. Indeed some theorists have argued that the environmental movement has grown from fundamentally authoritarian roots and it is arguable that the only really effective way of implementing environmental (...) politics is by imposing them in an authoritarian manner. This book deals with the tensions between democracy and environmentalism from a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives. (shrink)
Democracy brings together some of the most sophisticated thinking on democratic theory in one concise volume. Written by experts in the field, these contemporary readings are distinctively philosophical, but will appeal to students in historical, empirical, legal, or policy- oriented disciplines which deal with democratic theory.
This essay reclaims a political proceduralist vision of democracy as the best normative defense of democracy in contemporary politics. We distinguish this vision from three main approaches that are representative in the current academic debate: the epistemic conception of democracy as a process of truth seeking; the populist defense of democracy as a mobilizing politics that defies procedures; and the classical minimalist or Schumpeterian definition of democracy as a competitive method for selecting leaders.
It is usually held that representative government is not strictly democratic, since it does not allow the people themselves to directly make decisions. But here, taking as her guide Thomas Paine’s subversive view that “Athens, by representation, would have surpassed her own democracy,” Nadia Urbinati challenges this accepted wisdom, arguing that political representation deserves to be regarded as a fully legitimate mode of democratic decision making—and not just a pragmatic second choice when direct democracy is not possible. As (...) Urbinati shows, the idea that representation is incompatible with democracy stems from our modern concept of sovereignty, which identifies politics with a decision maker’s direct physical presence and the immediate act of the will. She goes on to contend that a democratic theory of representation can and should go beyond these identifications. Political representation, she demonstrates, is ultimately grounded in a continuum of influence and power created by political judgment, as well as the way presence through ideas and speech links society with representative institutions. Deftly integrating the ideas of such thinkers as Rousseau, Kant, Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, Paine, and the Marquis de Condorcet with her own, Urbinati constructs a thought-provoking alternative vision of democracy. (shrink)