Democratic Decision-Making Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-02-02
  • Publisher: Lexington Books

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Democratic Decision-Making: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives contains eight essays by political scientists addressing various aspects of the democratic decision-making process. The book is divided into four parts: democratic statesmanship, the extent to which limitations of the democratic principle of majority rule are desirable, the contemporary doctrine of deliberative democracy, and informal modes of democratic decision-making. Under these four headings, the contributors discuss a wide variety of issues, including the practice of political opportunism by such statesmen as Hamilton and Madison; the historical development of legal restraints on democracy in America ranging from judicial review (during the colonial period) to the filibuster; the operation of classical Athenian democracy, the defects of which may have been exaggerated by the American Founders; the significance of the reflections of Tammany Hall boss George Washington Plunkitt for the development of the American party system; the relation of deliberative-democracy theory to the thought of Rousseau; and the means by which cooperative land-use agreements have been arrived at in California, eliciting the voluntary consent of the affected parties instead of relying on judicial or bureaucratic dictates. The book is well-suited for use in courses on American political thought, democratic theory, American political development, and related subjects.

Author Biography

David Lewis Schaefer is professor of political science at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Editor's Introductionp. vii
Democratic Statesmanship
Democratic Leadershipp. 1
The Constitutional Morality of Political Opportunismp. 11
How Far Does Democracy Require Limits?
American Innovations in Democratic Decision-Makingp. 37
In Defense of Democracy: Antidemocratic Sentiment and Democratic Deliberation from Ancient Athens to the American Foundingp. 57
"Deliberative" Democracy?
"Deliberative Democracy": The Transformation of a Political Conceptp. 85
Democracy by Constraint: The Ideal of Deliberative Democracy in the Light of Rousseaup. 101
Informal Modes of Democratic Decision-Making
"This Is an Awful Serious Proposition": George Washington Plunkitt in the Context of Nineteenth-Century Party Nationalizationp. 125
Habitat Conservation Plans: Redesigning Development Through Collaborative Negotiationsp. 151
Indexp. 173
About the Contributorsp. 179
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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