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POLI 365 - Lecture: Constant and Sartori (Jan. 23)

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Political Science
POLI 365
Jason Scott Ferrell

Representative Democracy − greater concern for dissent − sensitivity to rule of law and reasons of state − greater concern on economic trade − on individual rights − on economics as an individual activity Ancient Democracy − two kinds of liberty − non-domination: free from subjugation − participatory: being able to be active in political processes − primacy of political activity − social cohesion necessary to provide defence and repel enemies Both Constant and Sartori hold that ancient democracy is no longer a valid model for modern democracy. To shape contemporary institutions along the lines of ancient democracy is mistaken. Constant is responding to Rousseau. Sartori is concerned about contemporary authoritarianism (Soviet Union) using ancient democracy to justify their regimes. Constant (1767-1830), Swiss-born political philosopher. Primarily publicist during French Revolution. Highly critical of Napoleon. Attempts to salvage the ideals of the Revolution. Constant: democratic ideals do not necessarily lend themselves to the Terror. Sartori (1924 - ), comparative political scientist. Both Constant and Sartori point out that the hallmark of contemporary democracy is a concern for individual liberty, where liberty is understood as a form of self-determination or in terms of an ideal of individualism. Man is more than a citizen of the state. Constant notes that a tie exists between economic development and the institutions of representative government. System of delegated political authority facilitates economic activity. Commerce simultaneously emancipates people and checks government authority. Commerce encourages peace instead of war. Allows for mutual agreements to attain desires without having to conquer others. Commerce is a type of activity that is distinct from politics, distinct from the state. By allowing for a sphere of private activity, representative democracy also encourages diversity and tolerance. Because we can distinguish individuals based on their pursuits, we have to make allowance for divergent beliefs and attitudes. Constitutionalism: individuals have to be protected from others, and the community at large. Constitutions establish a set of rules that regulate behaviour. Governments do not have the rig
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