POLSCI 1G06 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: The Federalist Papers, Direct Democracy

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Political Science 1G06 2014 Lecture 2a Democracy:
- In the modern context, Democracy is almost universally advocated as
the best model for organizing political life
- Yet this was not always the case – historically democracy has more
often been the target of criticism than praise
- So why has this system of governing come to be looked upon so
- What is the history of Democracy and why has its practice gone from
rejection to admiration?
-What does democracy mean?
- 1. Democracy comes from the Greek Demos (people) and Kratos
- Just what this “rule of the people” means and how it has been
translated into actual political practice has been historically and
culturally variable
- In this lecture we will focus on two forms: Direct democracy and
Indirect Democracy – examine their justifications and explore their
particular institutional structures
-Direct Democracy:
- A participatory form of democracy
- A political system where there are no specialized distinctions between
governors and governed
- Citizens are directly involved in governing themselves – directly
involved in debating and determining public laws, rules, regulations
(rather than electing someone else to make these decisions)
- Historical example: Ancient Athens
- All male adult citizens were able to participate – participation to a far
greater extent than today
- Comprised the Assembly
- Debated and decided on all major issues
- In those cases where political offices were deemed necessary, office
holders were
oChosen by lot
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