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John S. Dryzek on Democratic Theory - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 143
Democratic theory/Dryzek: devolopment of theories: In 1989 Robert Dahl could plausibly organize a major statement and defence of democracy using as a foil guardianship, the idea that some elite both knows what is best for society and has the appropriate expertise to implement that programme. In 2004 that would no longer be worth the effort. Serious advocates of guardianship can no longer be found. For example, in the realm of environmental political thought, in the
1970s eco-authoritarian models were quite popular (for an extreme statement, see Heilbroner, 1974)(1).
Come the 1990s, the main flourishing enterprise in ecopolitical thought was green democracy (see for example the essays collected by Mathews, 1996)(2),
Gaus I 144
while advocates of ecological guardianship have almost vanished. Other dead ducks include people's democracy, workplace democracy, community democracy (in the sense of whole-community mobilization), collectives, Theodore Lowi's (1969)(3) juridical democracy, and perhaps democratic socialism. Still, there are only a few dead democratic ducks, and they are always outnumbered by new democratic ducklings. Thus with time democratic theory no less than democracy itself becomes more differentiated and complex.
Deliberative democracy: Though democracy comes in many varieties, the dominant current in democratic theory is now a deliberative one. Indeed, it is accurate to say that around 1990 the theory of democracy took a deliberative turn. Thus different accounts of democracy can be appraised in terms of the content, strength, and significance of their relation to the deliberative turn - whether in support, opposition, capture, or qualification.
With the deliberative turn, the core of democratic legitimacy became instead the right or ability of
those subject to a public decision to participate in genuine deliberation (see Manin, 1987(4); Cohen, 1989(5); the term 'deliberative democracy' was first used by Bessette, 1980(6)). >Deliberative Democracy/Dryzek, >Democracy/Dryzek.


1. Heilbroner, Robert L. (1974) An Inquiry Into the Human Prospect. New York: Norton.
2. Mathews, Freya, ed. (1996) Ecologv and Democracy. London: Cass.
3 Lowi, Theodore J. (1969) The End of Liberalism. New York: Norton.
4. Manin, Bernard (1987) 'On legitimacy and political deliberation'. Political Theory, 15: 338—68.
5. Cohen, Joshua (1989) 'Deliberation and democratic legitimacy'. In Alan Hamlin and Philip Pettit, eds, The Good Polity: Normative Analysis of the State. Oxford: Blackwell.
6. Bessette, Joseph M. (1980) 'Deliberative democracy: the majoritarian principle in republican government'. In Robert A. Goldwin and William A. Shambra, eds, How Democratic is the Constitution? Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.

Dryzek, John S. 2004. „Democratic Political Theory“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Dryzek, John S.
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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