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(p. 68) 3. Democracy and Political Obligation 

(p. 68) 3. Democracy and Political Obligation
Chapter:
(p. 68) 3. Democracy and Political Obligation
Author(s):

Robert Garner

DOI:
10.1093/hepl/9780198704386.003.0004
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date: 25 January 2021

This chapter examines the claim that democracy is the ideal form of political obligation. It first traces the historical evolution of the term ‘democracy’ before discussing the debate between advocates of the protective theory and the participatory theory of democracy, asking whether it is possible to reconcile elitism with democracy and whether participatory democracy is politically realistic. It then describes the new directions that democratic theory has taken in recent years, focusing on four theories: associative democracy, cosmopolitan democracy, deliberative democracy, and ecological democracy. It also explains why democracy is viewed as the major grounding for political obligation, with emphasis on the problem of majority rule and what to do with the minority consequences of majoritarianism.

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