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Democratic Theory Today: Challenges for the 21st Century



Democratic Theory Today: Challenges for the 21st Century

April Carter (Editor), Geoffrey Stokes (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-745-62195-1 February 2002 Polity 320 Pages

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At the beginning of the twenty-first century, liberal democracy appears as the only valid form of democracy. Nonetheless, the well-established parliamentary regimes are facing serious threats to both their liberal and their democratic values. Among these threats are economic globalization and the growing assertion of cultural difference and nationalism.

This book examines some key theoretical and practical problems for democracy today, such as the nature of citizenship and forms of inequality and exclusion based on poverty, gender and ethnic or cultural difference. It also explores the challenges posed by nationalism and by claims for group rights and indigenous autonomy.

The authors discuss recent theoretical responses to the problems of political apathy and inequality, as well as globalization and identity politics. These various approaches accept the basic institutions of liberal democracy but look for ways of revitalizing political debate and participation, promoting greater equality and responding to the erosion of national sovereignty by global forces.

Democratic Theory Today will provide a lively and accessible guide for students of political science, political theory and political philosophy. It will also be of interest to those engaged in current debates about democracy.




Democratic Theory Today: An Introduction April Carter and Geoffrey Stokes.

Part I: Challenges to Democracy.

Chapter 1: Democracy and Citizenship Geoffrey Stokes.

Chapter 2: Democracy and Inequality Harry Brighouse.

Chapter 3: Democracy, Citizenship and Gender Elizabeth Frazer.

Chapter 4: Democracy and Group Rights John Kane.

Chapter 5: Democracy and Nationalism Margaret Canovan.

Chapter 6: Democracy and Indigneous Self-determination Michele Ivanitz.

Part II: Theoretical Responses.

Chapter 7: Deliberative Democracy Mark Warren.

Chapter 8: Civil Society and Democracy Baogang He.

Chapter 9: Associative Democracy April Carter.

Chapter 10: Social Democracy Raymond Plant.

Chapter 11: Transnational Democracy Anthony McGrew.


'Carter and Stokes are to be congratulated for putting together a highly accessible collection of essays that illuminate and advance debates at the cutting edge of democratic theory.'

Ian Shapiro, Yale University

"The nearly one dozen essaysin this volume traverse the field in useful provocative ways. They not only help place the field in clearer focus, but make constructive contributions to ongoing debates...For the unintiated it will serve as a nice introduction to current debates. For scholars in the field it will serve as a useful map of where democratic theory now stands" James Johnson, University of Rochester

  • Provides a comprehensive and clear summary of all the major issues in democratic theory

  • Includes contributions from academics around the world giving perspectives from the UK, North America and Australia

  • Addresses issues that are not often approached in books on democratic theory for example indigenous peoples