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Rational Foundations of Democratic Politics
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Book description

Democracy is widely accepted today, perhaps as never before, as the most suitable form of government. But what is democracy, and does it always produce good government? Democracy is often associated with the existence of competitive elections. But theory and experience suggest that these are not sufficient for democracy to function reasonably well. In this book, which was originally published in 2003, a number of experts from North America and Europe use a rational choice approach to understand the 'foundations' of democracy - what makes democracy successful, and why. In doing so, they consider diverse problems of democratic governance such as the importance of morals or virtue in political life, negative advertising, the role of social capital and civil society in sustaining democracy, the constitutional and cultural prerequisites of democracy, and the interaction of democracy and markets.

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