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Lecture

lec. jan. 17

10 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL201Y1
Professor
Sophia Moreau

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POL201 LEC. JAN 17
THICK AND THIN DEMOCRACY
-this lecture should serve as an introduction to democratic theory concepts and normative
propositions.
-in last 60 years the number of democracy has risen steadily, and dramatically since 1889.
-in 2009 the distribution of freedome in the world looked like this >>the map
-freedome hase is an organization that assigns ratings to countries around the world based on
how democratic they are, and freedom house and many other organizations, correlate freedom
with democracy, they measure democracy and freedom along a continuum, the most democratic
country are those with the highest level of freedom.
-then you are likely to measure democracy along a continuem with freedom, if you have more or
less freedom then that means you can be more or less democratic.
-on the other hand if your indicator of democracy is elections, then democracy is a dichotomis
variable, you either have democracy or you are not democratic, you either have free and fair
elections or you dont have free or fair elections.
=depending on what you define demoacy by, you can have more or less democracy, or you can
have a dichotomic democracy.
-the growth of democracy has among aother other things has created a prolifaeration of meanings
of democracy.
-now that dmoeacy has become a stamp of legitimiation, we have the word meaning different
things to different people in different parts of the world.
-thus there is confusion on the definitnio of democracy.
-so in this course, we are not going to try to come up with a single def’n of what democracy is,
but we are going to explore what the different definitinos are and why they are different and who
uses these defininions.
-all the definionts have normative content, they have purpose.
-we start by posing the question: IS DEMORACY PRIMARIILY A MECHISNM
ELECTIONS – THAT ROTATES POLITICAL LEADERS IN OFFICE; OR IS IT
PRIMIARILY A COMMITEMENT TO THE TWIN IDEALS OF FREEDOM AND
EQUALITY??
-demcoracy means literally: is power to the people, it derives from two greek words – demos
(people) and kratos (power)
-direct democracy is when the people discuss and decide on matters of public policy.
-in Athens we had direct democracy where thousands of people got together to discuss public
policy.
www.notesolution.com
-direct democracy was to hold the values of democracy, the people would have the
responibsibilty of making decisions about their social and political life, how they would live their
lives.
-so this is the classical theory of democracy.
CLASSICAL THEORY OF DEMORACY: ancient Greece:
-democracy was understaood as an institional arrangement that realizes the common good
through decisions that carry out the common will.
-
So what is the common good?
-----utilitatirian ideal in which the common good is discernable in the
condition where everyone is better off then they would be in any other condition.
-there is some condition under which utility is maximixzed.
-a utility curve is suppose to measure how much utuliiltty individual or collective out of a certain
number of goods.
-the utility graph shown is one of money, 10 $ has much less utility than 1000$, but at some point
the curve starts to flatten out, there is not much we can use from 5 million than 4 million, this
means that the utilty curve starts flattening out the more ,money we get.
-you get a lot more utility at the bottom of the curve from 10 to 100$ than you get from 10million
to 100million.
-it might be easier to think about this in garbage collection. We get a lot of utilitly when ppl pick
up our garbage. If we didnt it would get smelly and we would have to throw it out.
-but if we put more money into garbage collection and have it picked up every single day, that
would decrease our utililty because we would have to put out the garbage everyday, garbage
trucks are roaming around everywhere, so our utililty begins to flatten out and even begin to
decline.
-so the common good is some point on the ulilty curve before it starts to flatten out, so in this
graph it is around 100thousand dollars.
-the common good is subjectivlty and mathematically identifiable, you can actually chart where
the common good lies, it should be identifiable.
-the common good is the point on the utililty curve in which everyone is better off.
-we are not just talking about preferences, but actually something that is scientifically real, the
point of democary is to find the common good.
-
What is the COMMON WILL
-the will of the people, the will of the people is related directly to the common good, the
common will is the will to achieve the common good.
-through deliberation the will of all the people will converge to the common good.
-in contemporary dmeocracies we see this in a mandate, the whole idea isto invoke the claim that
the people have spoken, im coming into office with a mandate to enact healthcare reform, cut
taxes, etc.
www.notesolution.com
-when politiciaians invoke the idea that they have a mandate they are invoking a will of the
people, they mean that the will of the people is behind them.
-the classical doctrine of democracy is an institional method the common will, into a set of
policies that reflect the common good.
-the will of the people through deliberation the people uncover what the common good is going
to be and that is their will.
-JOSEPH SCHUMPETER
-develops a critique of the classical doctrine of democracy that we were talking about.
-he uses this critique to make his own theory of democracy.
-
Basic map of classical democratic theory::::
Common will>>>democratic process of deliberation>>>common good
If you have deliberation among the citizens, its going to generate through soemkind of process its
going to generate the common will.
-what people come up through deliberation will be the common will.
So SCHUMPETER develops a critique of this theory.
-he first says: THERE IS NO COMMON GOOD, there is no best policy that would make
everyone better off, because people have different conceptions of the common good, somecare
more about environment, some care about healthcare, etc. people disagree about what the
common good is, so each person has his/her own utility graph, they each have their own
conception of the common good, people have different things that they value in life.
-this is not because humans beings are unreasonable or uneducated, its because humans have
different natural inclinations, and stand in differeing relations to the structure of power, some are
wealthy some are poor, some are members of this party some are memebrs of a different party,
people have different interests because they stand in different realtions to the structure of power.
-so there is not objectivelyty identifiable common good, there is no set policies that dmeoracy is
suppose to support.
-the classical theory says there is a a right set of policies in society and the job of democracy is to
uncover this right set of policies.
SCHUMPETETER says there is no such right policies.
-there are only competing conceptions of individual will of people.
-schumpeter says there is ALSO NO COMMON WILL
-if there is no common good there cannot be a common will, there are only individual will of
people, the will of people might add up to the will of the majority, but not the whole people.
-he says that if there seems that there is a common will, then what it is infact, is a manufactured
will.
-he argues that the democratic process does not express the common will, but it might produce
seomthing thtat produces the common will.
www.notesolution.com

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Description
POL201 LEC. JAN 17 THICK AND THIN DEMOCRACY -this lecture should serve as an introduction to democratic theory concepts and normative propositions. -in last 60 years the number of democracy has risen steadily, and dramatically since 1889. -in 2009 the distribution of freedome in the world looked like this >>the map -freedome hase is an organization that assigns ratings to countries around the world based on how democratic they are, and freedom house and many other organizations, correlate freedom with democracy, they measure democracy and freedom along a continuum, the most democratic country are those with the highest level of freedom. -then you are likely to measure democracy along a continuem with freedom, if you have more or less freedom then that means you can be more or less democratic. -on the other hand if your indicator of democracy is elections, then democracy is a dichotomis variable, you either have democracy or you are not democratic, you either have free and fair elections or you dont have free or fair elections. =depending on what you define demoacy by, you can have more or less democracy, or you can have a dichotomic democracy. -the growth of democracy has among aother other things has created a prolifaeration of meanings of democracy. -now that dmoeacy has become a stamp of legitimiation, we have the word meaning different things to different people in different parts of the world. -thus there is confusion on the definitnio of democracy. -so in this course, we are not going to try to come up with a single defn of what democracy is, but we are going to explore what the different definitinos are and why they are different and who uses these defininions. -all the definionts have normative content, they have purpose. -we start by posing the question: IS DEMORACY PRIMARIILY A MECHISNM ELECTIONS THAT ROTATES POLITICAL LEADERS IN OFFICE; OR IS IT PRIMIARILY A COMMITEMENT TO THE TWIN IDEALS OF FREEDOM AND EQUALITY?? -demcoracy means literally: is power to the people, it derives from two greek words demos (people) and kratos (power) -direct democracy is when the people discuss and decide on matters of public policy. -in Athens we had direct democracy where thousands of people got together to discuss public policy. www.notesolution.com
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