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TitleThe moral horizon of democracy, “majority rule” and Rousseau’s solution: On the democratic procedures for decision-making
Author(s)Colen, J. A.
Vecchio, Anthony S.
Majority Rule
Issue date2022
PublisherUniversidade Católica Portuguesa. Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura - Faculdade de Ciências Humanas
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophy & Social Values
Abstract(s)The expansion and continuing prestige of democracy no longer seems inevitable. Doubts frequently arise about the viability of “democracy” as a political solution, and concerns still resurface regarding its well known imperfections. Some theorists and political philosophers believe that the solution to the current problems of democracy is more democracy, which idea finds expression in their books about how democracies die, against voting and in favor of the draw by lot, etc. Others, instead, fear the excesses of democracy, and out of concern they speak of the myth of rational voters, of illiberal democracies, of minority rights, etc. Notwithstanding the variety of outlooks, almost no one seriously questions political democracy as the only legitimate regime. The goal of this paper is to show that these problems and imperfections are not a new discovery, but inherent to the very first experiments in democracy in the modern era, acknowledged namely in Rousseau’s and Condorcet’s theories, an awareness maintained in the reflection of sociologists such as Robert Dahl or Arend Lijphart, and rational choice theorists such as James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock. The awareness of these essential features of democracy should help us to advance its defense—since no other known decision procedures evade them.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEPS - Publicações dos investigadores do CEPS

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