The Principles of Representative Government

Author: Bernard Manin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521458917
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The thesis of this original and provocative book is that representative government should be understood as a combination of democratic and undemocratic elements. Challenging the conventionally held views on the subject, Professor Manin reminds us that while today representative institutions and democracy appear as virtually indistinguishable, when representative government was first established in Europe and America, it was designed in opposition to democracy proper. The author identifies the essential features of democratic institutions and reviews the history of their application.

Representative Democracy

Author: Nadia Urbinati
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226842800
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

Constitutionalism and Democracy

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521457217
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The eleven essays in this volume, supplemented by an editorial introduction, center around three overlapping problems. First, why would a society want to limit its own sovereign power by imposing constitutional constraints on democratic decision-making? Second, what are the contributions of democracy and constitutions to efficient government? Third, what are the relations among democracy, constitutionalism, and private property? This comprehensive discussion of the problems inherent in constitutional democracy will be of interest to students in a variety of social sciences. It illuminates particularly the current efforts of many countries, especially in Latin America, to establish stable democratic regimes.

Saving Democracy

Author: Kevin O'Leary
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804754989
Format: PDF
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Saving Democracy presents a bold yet practical plan for reinventing American democracy for the twenty-first century. The book diagnoses contemporary political ills as symptoms of corruption in our large republic and develops a new understanding of representative democracy. Building on the ideas of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, Saving Democracy shows how it is possible to combine the traditional town hall and the Internet to fashion a new theory of representative government that empowers citizens and bridges the enormous gap that now exists between the political elite and the average voter. Under the author's plan, in each of the nation's 435 congressional districts a local assembly of 100 citizens, selected by lot, would meet to discuss the major domestic and international issues. The role of this assembly would be deliberative and advisory and its views would constitute a second, more sophisticated and informed measure of public opinion than traditional public opinion polls. The next step would be the establishment of the People's House, which would hold actual legislative power.

Why Deliberative Democracy

Author: Amy Gutmann
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400826339
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The most widely debated conception of democracy in recent years is deliberative democracy--the idea that citizens or their representatives owe each other mutually acceptable reasons for the laws they enact. Two prominent voices in the ongoing discussion are Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson. In Why Deliberative Democracy?, they move the debate forward beyond their influential book, Democracy and Disagreement. What exactly is deliberative democracy? Why is it more defensible than its rivals? By offering clear answers to these timely questions, Gutmann and Thompson illuminate the theory and practice of justifying public policies in contemporary democracies. They not only develop their theory of deliberative democracy in new directions but also apply it to new practical problems. They discuss bioethics, health care, truth commissions, educational policy, and decisions to declare war. In "What Deliberative Democracy Means," which opens this collection of essays, they provide the most accessible exposition of deliberative democracy to date. They show how deliberative democracy should play an important role even in the debates about military intervention abroad. Why Deliberative Democracy? contributes to our understanding of how democratic citizens and their representatives can make justifiable decisions for their society in the face of the fundamental disagreements that are inevitable in diverse societies. Gutmann and Thompson provide a balanced and fair-minded approach that will benefit anyone intent on giving reason and reciprocity a more prominent place in politics than power and special interests.

On Nationality

Author: David Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198280475
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Nationalism is a dominating force in contemporary politics but political philosophers have been reluctant to discuss ideas of nationalism. In this book David Miller defends the principle of nationality.

Democracy under scrutiny

Author: Ursula J van Beek
Publisher: Verlag Barbara Budrich
ISBN: 3866497024
Format: PDF, Docs
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Values – elites and ordinary people This book reveals the diverse worlds of history, civic culture and values of South Africa, South Korea, Chile, Poland, Turkey, Germany and Sweden. It explores the similarities and contrasts between the values of the elites and the ordinary people. Written from various disciplinary perspectives and offering both empirical evidence and insiders’ knowledge, this book is bound to interest a wide variety of readers. The study on which the book reports was in the main based on analyses of value orientations of the parliamentary and media elites and those of the ordinary citizens. The data for the elites were obtained from surveys conducted for the purposes of the study; the data for the general population were drawn from the latest World Values Surveys. The volume is divided into two parts. The first part, entitled Theory and history, considers the quality of democracy in the context of the historical and cultural heritage of the seven countries, their civic culture and notions of citizenship, and their constitutions as foundations of the democratic political order. The second part of the book, entitled Theory and empiricism, assesses the quality of democracy by means of comparative analyses of the convergence and divergence in value orientations of the elites and the masses, both within each case and across all the seven cases.

Election Watchdogs

Author: Pippa Norris
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190677805
Format: PDF
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"Recent years have seen resurgent interest in the potential capacity of transparency - the public availability of information - to improve democratic governance. Timely, accurate, granular and freely-available information is generally regarded as intrinsically valuable, as well as having many instrumental benefits. In development, transparency and accountability is generally thought to help plug the leaky pipes of corruption and inefficiency, channel public spending more efficiently, and produce better services. In the field of electoral governance, openness about the rules and procedures, outcomes, and decisions processes used by electoral authorities is widely assumed to build public trust, improve policy-making, and facilitate accountability. In the age of WikiLeaks, Twitter and Google, open governance, expanding information and communication, often seems like an unqualified good. Nevertheless, beyond popular buzzword sloganeering, evidence suggests that the impact of transparency on the quality of governance and elections remains mixed. Transparency also has a dark side, threatening trust, privacy, and security. To understand these issues more fully, this book seeks to assess the contemporary drive towards open electoral governance and to identify several conditions predicted to determine the success of transparency policies in strengthening electoral integrity. Chapters look at transparency in electoral governance at the international and state levels, as well as within civil society"--

Post Democracy

Author: Colin Crouch
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 9780745633152
Format: PDF
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Post-Democracy is a polemical work that goes beyond current complaints about the failings of our democracy and explores the deeper social and economic forces that account for the current malaise. Colin Crouch argues that the decline of those social classes which had made possible an active and critical mass politics has combined with the rise of global capitalism to produce a self-referential political class more concerned with forging links with wealthy business interests than with pursuing political programmes which meet the concerns of ordinary people. He shows how, in some respects, politics at the dawn of the twenty-first century returns us to a world familiar well before the start of the twentieth, when politics was a game played among elites. However, Crouch maintains that the experience of the twentieth century remains salient and it reminds us of possibilities for the revival of politics. This engaging book will prove challenging to all those who claim that advanced societies have reached a virtual best of all possible democratic worlds, and will be compelling reading for anyone interested in the shape of twenty-first-century politics.