Download PDF by John Dunn: Breaking Democracy's Spell

By John Dunn

ISBN-10: 030017991X

ISBN-13: 9780300179910

In this well timed and significant paintings, eminent political theorist John Dunn argues that democracy isn't really synonymous with stable govt. the writer explores the labyrinthine truth in the back of the fundamental idea of democracy, demonstrating how the political method that individuals within the West often view as common and visible is, actually, deeply doubtful and, in lots of circumstances, dysfunctional. together with 4 thought-provoking lectures, Dunn’s ebook sketches the trail wherein democracy turned the single type of executive with ethical legitimacy, analyzes the contradictions and pitfalls of contemporary American democracy, and demanding situations the educational international to take accountability for giving the area a extra coherent realizing of this broadly misrepresented political establishment. Suggesting that the supposedly excellent marriage of liberal economics with liberal democracy can neither be certain its continuance nor even deal with the issues of up to date lifestyles, this brave research makes an attempt to teach how we got here to be so gripped via democracy’s spell and why we needs to now discover ways to holiday it.

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Extra resources for Breaking Democracy's Spell

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The drama of politics must be merely a shadow play, not a causal site. Alternatively, there can be and always are sentiments, perceptions, and beliefs (beliefs with existential content) shared among human groupings, but their scope and valency differ dramatically across space and time. Such groupings can and will share common goods and interests of varying density and centrality to their lives, just insofar as they share sentiments, perceptions, and beliefs. On this view, the drama of politics consists fundamentally in the formation, persistence, and 25 diagnosing democracy’s power dispersion of groupings that do in this way share, and it is overwhelmingly consequential for human life on any scale beyond the narrowly domestic.

If the heuristic that has established democracy’s superiority in the present epoch in clarity, realism, and potential to shape goals and consolidate purposes for potential allies and weaken and demoralize prospective adversaries has been political struggle itself, it must be right to see democracy’s global comparative advantage in the breadth of the field over which it can solicit identification, and the relative narrowness of the space that it is precondemned to exclude, as illicit, nefarious, or actively malign.

Instead, it falls on the citizens at large, and the responsibility for amending its aberrations also in the end falls unrelentingly on those same citizens as a whole. It is rude for foreign visitors to say such things, but it is also incumbent on them to tell the truth as they see it. As it looks at present to a foreign eye—from China, or Iran, or Burma, or Switzerland, or Germany or Norway, or even from England—it is hard to see the citizenry of the United States at present as especially successful in furnishing themselves with good government under their uniquely time-tested and elastic democratic formula.

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Breaking Democracy's Spell by John Dunn

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