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Lecture

Democracy.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL201Y1
Professor
C Jung
Semester
Winter

Description
dichotomous variable when you're looking at democracy as measured by elections - the growth of democracy as a legitimizing factor has created a variety of meanings for democracy, its characteristics, what people value about it is, what it is not, how democratic a country is etc. Is democracy primarily a mechanism (elections( that rotates political leaders in office or sit is a n ideological commitment to the twin ideals of freedom and equality (attitudes)? - demos: people kratos: power, democracy : power to the people - values of a classical theory of democracy: Ancient Greece: institutional arrangement that realizes the common good through decisions that carry out the common will common good: a utilitarian ideal where everyone is better off than in a ny other condition, as well- off as they themselves can be, your utility is maximized Utility curve: how much utility we get out of a certain distribution of goods, steeper at bottom (bigger marginal gain ie. more utility lower levels of money up to a certain level in the millions) - common good is point on curve before it starts to even out - point of democracy is to unearth the common goof for society through these deliberations and then implement it - common will is the will of the people, achievement of the common good -Schempeter (Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy): there is no such thing as a common good, people have different ideas/wants of good -> we don’t even know what we want to maximize (critiques of utilitarianism, more pragmatic look a democracy) - people stand in different relations to the structures of power (social conditions) and have different natural conceptions of common goods, there is no 'correct' set of policies that democracy might unearth, all there are changing and competing preferences of individuals - by extension there is no commin will, will of the people -> will of the majority yes, but no will in common -> but maybe a manufactured will, the democratic process produces shaping and manipulating public opinion not an input into the process but the output of democratic process -Schumpeter: elitist, thin, rule of representatives and those elected to make decisions - freedom? Freedom of free competition, but no individual commitment to freedom of the people - will of the majority, not the will of the people - economic definition of democracy, like a market : votes are money, parties are trying to gain market share, ideologies are the products/brands that they use to attract the greatest number of voters (consumers) - ideologies and policies are not important to parties, are an incidental byproduct of competition to win elections Thick definition of democracy? Different ideas of thick, think in different ways 1- concept of the public realm, commonly considered to fall under jurisdiction of the state and subject to public deliberation o is the public real broader or narrower? Healthcare: private or public? Whether public real is smaller or bigger doesn’t determine the level of democracy, but all democracies must have a concept of a public realm and some idea of a government having some sort of responsibility to ensuring human well-being ( but this is not about whether a country is non-democratic, but whetehr it is more neo-liberal or social democratic) 2- citizenship only in democracy, have social/economic/cultural rights but most important civil rights that protect them from government exercises in power while subjects don’t have those rights -> specific to democratic forms of government 3- competition, classical definition of a common will is outdated and unrealistic, consensus is not desirable because it requires everyone to agree (people don’t agree, not because they are unreasonable because people objectively have different interests that are not wrong
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