In this book, one of the most prominent political theorists of our era makes a statement about what democracy is and why it is important. Robert Dahl examines the most basic assumptions of democratic theory, tests them against the questions raised by its critics, and recasts the theory of democracy in a new and coherent whole. He concludes by ...Read MoreIn this book, one of the most prominent political theorists of our era makes a statement about what democracy is and why it is important. Robert Dahl examines the most basic assumptions of democratic theory, tests them against the questions raised by its critics, and recasts the theory of democracy in a new and coherent whole. He concludes by discussing the directions in which democracy must move if advanced democratic states are to exist in the future.Read Less
Very Good. No Jacket. 0300044097 No marks or damage from past owners, Not a former library book, Not a remainder, or book club, no jacket, Hardcover. From ancient times some people have conceived of a political system in which the members regard one another as political equals. It was a good idea but we have evolved since the fifth century B.C. All books shipped within 24 hours with U. S. Postal Service Delivery Confirmation, each order is packaged in a new box with bubble wrap, and always your satisfaction is guaranteed. This is a GIFT QUALITY ITEM.
This is a strange book, it should be said from the outset. Strange, but good. Professor Dahl introduces the reader to the history of theories of democracy, partly by providing a historical account, partly by conjuring up debates between proponents of different ideas from across the centuries. Thus ancient greeks may hold lively conversations with the framers of the US constitution. Strange, but somehow effective. And it all somehow seems to lead onward to the next chapter, and - ultimately - to the culmination of intellectual history that is professor Dahl's theory of democracy.
This book should not be taken as a standard, albeit pedagogically innovative, textbook though. It is a long argument on behalf of Dahl's pluralist, social democratic views about democratic principles. Equality demands equal voting shares in the state, and some - not very extensive - protections of minorities. To Dahl, that argument also seems to be applicable to corporate enterprises by virtue of... well, by virtue of being associations of some kind.
That said, this is a thought-provoking introduction for the student who hasn't read a lot of political theory. It is very readable, and an interesting book at that. For a more systematic account, one can look to eg David Held's (similarly social-democratic, but less polemically written) Models of democracy.
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