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Democracy

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Democracy as a Natural Order Democracy is any form of government in which the rules of society are decided by the people who will be bound by them. * – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Democracy


1
Democracy
2
  • Tony Benn on democracy
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vpoO5BgU2PZo
  • Watch the entire film on YouTube!

3
  • Democracy as a Natural Order
  • Democracy is any form of government in which
    the rules of society are decided by the people
    who will be bound by them.
  • PEOPLE GOVERNING THEMSELVES
  • That was the original system of making decisions
    for society primitive democracy which exists
    for tens of thousands of years before the rise of
    the state
  • When the state appears 5,000 years ago, it seeks
    to take the decision-making power away from
    society
  • Then, democracy becomes a way of trying to
    restrain state power and put the state under the
    peoples control
  • Catherine Kellogg, Democratic Theory, in Janine
    Brodie and Sandra Rein, Critical Concepts An
    Introduction to Politics.

4
  • John Keane highlights 3 overlapping epochs in the
    historical development of democracy
  • Phase One, Assembly Democracy starting around
    2,500 BCE, in lands now within the territories of
    Iran, Iraq and Syria
  • During the first phase of democracy the seeds of
    its basic institution self-government through
    an assembly of equals were scattered across
    many different soils and climes, ranging from the
    Indian subcontinent and the prosperous Phoenician
    empire to the western shores of provincial
    Europe. These popular assemblies took root,
    accompanied by various ancillary institutional
    rules and customs, like written constitutions,
    the payment of jurors and elected officials, the
    freedom to speak in public, voting machines,
    voting by lot and trial before elected or
    selected juries. There were efforts as well to
    stop bossy leaders in their tracks, using such
    methods as the mandatory election of kings (The
    Life and Death of Democracy, p.xvi)
  • Best-known example Athens, 5th century BCE

5
  • Athenian democracy
  • Direct democracy citizens participated directly
    in initiating, deliberating, and passing of, the
    legislation. The Assembly, no less than 6,000
    strong (out of 22,000 citizens of Athens),
    convened about every 10 days. Supreme power to
    decide on every issue of state policy
  • Citizen juries justice is responsibility of
    citizens (juries composed of 501-1001 citizens)
  • Appointment of citizens to political office by
    lot
  • Citizen-soldiers every citizen had a duty to
    serve in the army
  • Ostracism a bad politician could be kicked out
    of office by the people
  • See Patrick Watson and Benjamin Barber, The
    Struggle for Democracy. Toronto Lester and Orpen
    Dennys Ltd., 1988, p.12

6
  • Phase Two Representative Democracy
  • Starts around 10th-12th centuries in Western
    Europe with the invention of parliamentary
    assemblies
  • Reaches its classic forms in the 18th century.
    Officially regarded as normative today.
  • Marquis dArgenson, Foreign Minister of French
    King Louis XV, 1765
  • False democracy soon collapses into anarchy. It
    is government of the multitude such is a people
    in revolt, insolently scorning law and reason.
    Its tyrannical despotism is obvious from the
    violence of its movements and the uncertainty of
    its deliberations. In true democracy, one acts
    through deputies, who are authorized by election
    the mission of those elected by the people and
    the authority that such officials carry
    constitute the public power.
  • (Keane, p. xviii)

7
  • Phase Three Monitory Democracy (term coined by
    John Keane)
  • Started after World War II
  • Invention of about 100 power-monitoring devices
    which had never existed before
  • Increase citizen ability to control the state
    which is organized on the basis of representative
    democracy
  • Public integrity commissionsJudicial
    activismLocal courtsWorkplace
    tribunalsCitizens assembliesThink tanksThe
    InternetEtc.

8
  • The Classical Theory of Democracy
  • The triple meaning
  • Democracy as source of state authority power
    of the people
  • Democracy as the purpose of government the
    common good
  • Democracy as a method of choosing political
    leaders by the people
  • Abraham Lincoln Government of the people, by
    the people, and for the people (1863)
  • Also from Lincoln (1861) This country, with its
    institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit
    it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the
    existing government, they can exercise their
    constitutional right of amending it, or their
    revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.

9
  • Joseph Schumpeter, 1942
  • The classical theory is too broad and vague. It
    is much more practical to narrow the meaning of
    democracy to the method
  • The democratic method is
  • that institutional arrangement for arriving at
    political decisions
  • in which individuals acquire the power to decide
  • by means of a competitive struggle for the
    peoples vote.
  • Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and
    Democracy. New York Harper, 1947, p.269

10
  • 2 major dimensions of the democratic method
  • contestation free and fair competition between
    candidates
  • participation all adult citizens have the
    right to vote
  • The use of this method requires the freedoms of
  • expression, to speak publicly and publish ones
    views
  • assembly, to gather for political purposes
  • association, to form political organizations
  • Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy Participation and
    Opposition. New Haven Yale University Press,
    1971 Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave.
    Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century.
    University of Oklahoma Press, 1991

11
  • In contemporary politics, the term democracy is
    used mostly in the Schumpeterian, rather than
    classical, sense
  • Representative democracy
  • Electoral democracy
  • Formal democracy
  • The people elect a government and keep it
    accountable
  • Robert Dahl It is more precise to call it
    polyarchy (rule by many, meaning more than 3
    persons) rather than democracy

12

Democracys Century A Survey of Global Political
Change in the 20th Century. NY Freedom House,
2001 http//www.freedomhouse.org/reports/century.h
tml
13

Democracys Century A Survey of Global Political
Change in the 20th Century. NY Freedom House,
2001 http//www.freedomhouse.org/reports/century.h
tml
14
  • Since 1900, the number of internationally
    recognized independent states has grown
  • from 55 to nearly 200
  • Today, governments in 120 countries are formed
    by democratic method
  • 62.5 of the worlds population live in those
    countries

15
  • Key events which led to this expansion
  • The defeat of fascism in World War 2 (1939-45)
  • The fall of Western colonial empires
    (1950s-70s)
  • The fall of Western authoritarian regimes in
    Southern Europe and Latin America (1970s-1980s)
  • The fall of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe
    and the Soviet Union (1989-91)

16
  • A 21st Century Democratic Paradox
  • Democracy is accepted as the normal and even
    normative - form of government more widely in the
    world than ever before
  • And yet, the real scope of democratic practices
    is very limited.
  • The sea of democracy has never been wider.
  • But it is very shallow

17
  • Global public opinion on democracy
  • http//www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/go
    vernance_bt/482.php?lbbtgovpnt482nidid

18
The global democratic deficit, 2008
http//www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/go
vernance_bt/482.php?lbbtgovpnt482nidid
19
Americans trusting or distrusting their
government
20
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