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Against Democracy

Author: Jason Brennan
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400888395
Size: 56.72 MB
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Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us—it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse—more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government—epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable—may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.

Democracy

Author: Condoleezza Rice
Publisher: Twelve
ISBN: 1455540196
Size: 59.38 MB
Format: PDF
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the former secretary of state and bestselling author -- a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why America must continue to support the cause of human freedom. "This heartfelt and at times very moving book shows why democracy proponents are so committed to their work...Both supporters and skeptics of democracy promotion will come away from this book wiser and better informed." --The New York Times From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans. In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy's challenges into perspective. When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the world -- from Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones. These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.

How Democracies Die

Author: Steven Levitsky
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 1524762938
Size: 39.31 MB
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Fateful alliances -- Gatekeeping in America -- The great Republican abdication -- Subverting democracy -- The guardrails of democracy -- The unwritten rules of American politics -- The unraveling -- Trump against the guardrails -- Saving democracy

Electoral Systems And Democracy

Author: Larry Diamond
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801884740
Size: 71.77 MB
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As the number of democracies has increased around the world, a heated debate has emerged among political scientists about which system best promotes the consolidation of democracy. This book compares the experiences of diverse countries, from Latin America to southern Africa, from Uruguay, Japan, and Taiwan to Israel, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Democracy In Decline

Author: Larry Diamond
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421418185
Size: 32.76 MB
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"Is Democracy in Decline? is a short book that takes up the fascinating question on whether this once-revolutionary form of government--the bedrock of Western liberalism--is fast disappearing. Has the growth of corporate capitalism, mass economic inequality, and endemic corruption reversed the spread of democracy worldwide? In this incisive collection, leading thinkers address this disturbing and critically important issue. Published as part of the National Endowment for Democracy's 25th anniversary--and drawn from articles forthcoming in the Journal of Democracy--this collection includes seven essays from a stellar group of democracy scholars: Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Thomas Carothers, Marc Plattner, Larry Diamond, Philippe Schmitter, Steven Levitsky, Ivan Krastev, and Lucan Way. Written in a thought-provoking style from seven different perspectives, this book provides an eye-opening look at how the very foundation of Western political culture may be imperiled"--

Democracy

Author: Charles Tilly
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139465198
Size: 48.43 MB
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Democracy identifies the general processes causing democratization and de-democratization at a national level across the world over the last few hundred years. It singles out integration of trust networks into public politics, insulation of public politics from categorical inequality, and suppression of autonomous coercive power centres as crucial processes. Through analytic narratives and comparisons of multiple regimes, mostly since World War II, this book makes the case for recasting current theories of democracy, democratization and de-democratization.

Refiguring Democracy

Author: Ramón A. Feenstra
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351663291
Size: 73.88 MB
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Spain has become a remarkable democratic laboratory in which millions of citizens are experimenting with new forms of political expression. This book examines the dynamics of this political laboratory, showing that the upheavals it is experiencing are likely in the near future to affect democracies elsewhere in the world. Examining the new means of participation that were established in fields where digital communication tools enabled the launch of novel dynamics of political action, the reader will gain access to a comprehensive analysis of the reshaping and mutation process that has affected fields such as activism, political parties and political participation. Using a case study of the Spain between 2011 and 2015, the book focuses on the changes that have taken place in politics and communication in Spain, paying particular attention to the 15M movement and its disruptive, innovative strength in all matters related to politics and communication. The chapters cover political repertoires and the hybridization of horizontal and vertical political logics; the appearance of new political parties; the establishment of monitoring mechanisms as an essential means of political expression and participation; and the subversion of rationality across media as a product of the communication strategies implemented by online political activism. Showing that Spain is not just at the forefront of democratic innovation, but that it is a political laboratory in which trials are taking place that tell us much about the future of democracy everywhere, this book will be of great use to scholars of political theory, democracy and philosophy.

Honeybee Democracy

Author: Thomas D. Seeley
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400835959
Size: 46.98 MB
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Honeybees make decisions collectively--and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley's pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees. In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together--as a swirling cloud of bees--to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader's influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution. An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.

Democracy A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bernard Crick
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 019280250X
Size: 57.65 MB
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No political concept is more used, and misused, than that of democracy. Looking at key case studies, this explores the history of the doctrine and practice of democracy, and of the usages and practices associated with it in the modern world.

The Death Of Democracy

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1250162513
Size: 75.53 MB
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A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen. Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time. To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship. Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.