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The most important of these is the question which democratic possibilities modern citizens still have to give, in a common effort, direction to their society. This is an essential element of political freedom.

Pluralism, democracy and political knowledge : Robert A Dahl and his critics on modern politics

In my view, the political discontent or malaise that typifies most contemporary democracies, is mainly caused by the widely shared feeling that this political freedom has become rather limited. This discontent can only diminish when we become, to a much higher extent than today, master over the development of our society, and, partly as a result of this, over our personal life. Therefore, this project has the umbrella title A Rehabilitation of Politics. By focusing on the structures bureaucracies, markets and processes rationalization, individualization, differentiation which cause our diminishing democratic possibilities, and by focusing on the structures and processes that could enhance these possibilities, I hope to counterweight the tendency in the current debate on democratic discontent to stress factors like citizenship, social capital, political corruption, sour media, et cetera.

22. Democracy and Majority Rule (I)

In Pluralism, Democracy, and Political Knowledge I analyze the pluralist conception of politics and democracy, as formulated by, above all, Robert A. Dahl is generally considered as one of the founders of postwar political pluralism and as one of the most important political scholars and democratic theorists of the last half century. The pluralist conception of politics and democracy is imbued with modernity and was dominant within political science for decades.

The same goes for the historically related behavioralist model of science. Although pluralism has been strongly criticized within political science and has lost its dominant position within this discipline, many of the pluralist assumptions and doctrines have become generally accepted within actual, everyday politics. The individualization, differentiation and rationalization that characterize modern societies are also preeminently taken as point of departure by the political theory of pluralism.


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Therefore, the analysis of the powerlessness that, according to many, typifies our current political systems can excellently be conducted within the theoretical framework of pluralism. The integration of Pluralism, Democracy, and Political Knowledge is to an important degree based on the chronological development of the thinking on pluralism in general and the thinking of Dahl in particular. More precisely, this book tells the story of pluralism above all via the work of Dahl and the criticism it has incited.

Although his standing as a political thinker is undisputed, such a biography did not exist yet. But by concentrating on Dahl one is also able to tell the rather complex story of pluralism, democratic theory and political science during the largest part of the twentieth century: Because both pluralism and behavioralism were the most important thinking models during the formative years of political science, Pluralism, Democracy, and Political Knowledge thus also gives a critical overview of the history of this discipline until about the seventies: To what extent are these realized?

And which epistemological problems impede or block the realization of these ambitions? Hence, Dahl is the point of reference in the following, but via Dahl almost all important issues with respect to democracy, political pluralism, political science and political knowledge are examined.

Robert A. Dahl - Wikiquote

All these attempt to move away from of undemocratic decision procedure. These aim to dem- few or of a paternalistic dictator.


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She clearly makes the onstrate how philosophy and science are intimately point that traditional and recently advanced arguments linked, and how there is no objective position from against majority rule and collective intelligence derive which to produce knowledge. It is hard those who are directly affected by it and also to get the then to consider this book to be pursuing a post- most out of the different skills inevitably pertaining to positivist direction, as advertised; rather it is one more large groups.

Robert A. Dahl

Oxford century post-war political science. In particular, this cult terrain in practical ethics. Wingenbach - - Ashgate. The Politics of E Pluribus Unum. Carr - - Palgrave-Macmillan.

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