The Best Democracy, the Worst Democracy

in Real Democracy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780226077963
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226077987 | DOI:
The Best Democracy, the Worst Democracy

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All things considered—from attendance levels to the length of the meeting—what does real democracy look like at its very best? What does it look like at its very worst? Real democracy demands first the presence of citizens. Then comes deliberation. Third, real democracy requires that no cohort of society be excluded. Finally, the amount of time devoted to deliberation needs to be sufficient. The parameters of these components are established and how they are related (or not related) to the contexts in which they are practiced are dealt with in this chapter. But to understand and judge real democracy thoroughly, one must consider how well town meetings accomplish all of these goals in concert.

Keywords: real democracy; citizen presence; deliberation; town meetings; political participation; public presence

Chapter.  9106 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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