Participatory Democracy: The Radical View


in Public Law and Democracy in the United Kingdom and the United States of America

Published in print January 1991 | ISBN: 9780198256373
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681646 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Law Series

Participatory Democracy: The Radical View

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This chapter considers a radical view of participatory democracy. First, it presents two recent visions of participatory or empowered democracy, those advanced by Barber and Unger. The possibility of some form of participatory democracy is a recurring theme amongst critics of pluralism. Second, the enquiry focuses upon the central normative assumptions underlying these theories. It also examines the institutional ordering of the society which is required to effectuate these objectives. It reveals the tension between decentralization and centralization, and questions how far such theories sustain their own claim that society should be open to continual transformation. Third, it discusses the role of public law within participatory democracy, considering the extent to which any role succeeds in avoiding the dilemmas which are said to beset courts under the liberal political theory.

Keywords: participatory democracy; strong democracy; empowered democracy; Barber; Unger

Chapter.  19275 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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