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Thick/Thin Democracies

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Sophia Moreau

Lecture week14 January 17, 2011 THICK AND THIN DEMOCRACIES Introduction to Democracy Theory:- the rise in democracy has occurred over the past 60 years Freedom House measures the levels of democracy and freedom along a continuum where freedom is correlated with democracy Democracy is a dichotomous variable if election are the measure of democracy a country is either a democracy or not there is not in between or maybe somewhat democratic growth of democracy has created a proliferation of definitions; there are various meanings, levels & values of it there is no universal definition of democracy Q. Is democracy a mechanism primarily i.e. elections? Or a system of rotating political leaders in office? Its primarily a commitment to twin ideals, namely freedom and equality Democracy = Power to the people initiated in Greece (Demos=people, Kratos=power) People were responsible for living their lives for the common good This is Classical Democratic Theory: An institutional organization for common good, making decisions that carry out the common will This is an authoritarian view of democracy Common good is measure by a utility curve, after a certain point having more money leads to decrease in utility Common good is therefore a point on the utility curve where everyone is better off Common will is the common will of people to achieve the common good A mandate from people is suppose to invoke the idea of what people willwant
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