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Lecture

POL.10.22.12.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL101Y1
Professor
Joseph Wong
Semester
Fall

Description
Problems of Democracy -Democracy is fragile -relatively new political institution Democracy and Equality -rules of the game (rule of law, rule of men, because of rules democracy is predictable) -managing diversity (diversity society, people have different political interests, democracy recognizes that society is diverse) -institutionalized uncertainty (creates accountability, stability) -variations of democracy (there is no fixed form of democracy) -equality (principle of equality is the absolute fundamental of democracy) Equality of opportunity -political equality (under the rule of law, we are politically equal) -procedural democracy -polyarchy (Robert Dahl) -Public contestation -inclusive participation Equality of outcome -Political-economic equality -procedural versus substantive democracy -example: democratic welfare state Collective action problem We all have a collective interest in the outcome of politics, but individuals won’t go to the ballot box together (collective interest vs individual interest) -people fought for a vote, but they just do not vote -cost -benefits -free-riding -It is not rational to vote Equality of Opportunity –challenges2-The Fallacy of Democratic Pluralism -democratic pluralism (assumes political equality) -example: US health care reform -institutional fragmentations (different parts of politics) -“The flaw in the pluralist heaven is that the heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper class accent” – Elmer E. Schattschineider Equality of Opportunity
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