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Democracy and the Limits of Self-Government

$22.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in the Theory of Democracy

  • Date Published: July 2010
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511784231

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  • 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.

    • Classical democratic theory is analyzed by bringing to bear the analytical apparatus of modern political science
    • Contrary to the standard focus on a handful of countries, the book covers all democracies that ever existed in the world
    • Addresses central issues in democracy by analyzing sources of widespread dissatisfaction
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511784231
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Self-government of the people
    3. A brief history of representative institutions
    4. Equality
    5. Choice and participation
    6. Agency
    7. Liberty
    8. Democracy as an implementation of self-government in our times.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Area Studies
    • Comparative Democratication
    • Cont. Democratic Theory
    • Democracy and its Critics
    • Dilemmas of Democracy
    • Libertarianism
    • Politics in East Central Europe
    • Selected Topics in Comparative Politics: Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • Seminar in Comparative Politics
    • Senior Seminar (on Democracy)
    • Theories of Democracy
  • Author

    Adam Przeworski, New York University
    Adam Przeworski is the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Politics at New York University. Previously, he was the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of thirteen books and numerous articles. His recent publications include Democracy and Development, co-authored with Michael R. Alvarez, José Antonio Cheibub and Fernando Limongi (2000), Democracy and the Rule of Law, co-edited with José María Maravall (2003), and States and Markets (2003). He is the recipient of the 2001 Woodrow Wilson Prize.

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