Schumpeter thinks of “18th Century” concepts of democracy (probably mostly pointing to Rousseau) as decision-making processes in which the people themselves decide on political issues by electing representatives who carry out the people’s will. While others (e.g. Michels) had already attacked the notion that rather the leaders but not the people ultimately decide on political … Continue reading Schumpeter’s Criticism of Classical Theory of Democracy
The notion of liberal democracy consists of two components- one, "democracy", referring to a political process, and the other, "liberal", referring to a political outcome. The argument that it is a contradictory notion lies in the fact that to presuppose or predefine politcal outcomes as liberal (consistent with liberal principles of individual autonomy, freedom from … Continue reading Is the Notion of Liberal Democracy inherently contradictory?
Dahl starts with differentiating democracy against anarchism. He defines anarchism as basing on four assumptions (Dahl 1989, 39ff): No one is obligated to support a bad state. All states are coercive. Coercion is intrinsically bad. A society without a state is a feasible alternative to a society with a state. Following from the assumptions he … Continue reading Dahl’s defence of Democracy against Anarchism and Guardianship
Democratic consolidation is understood as the process in which a new democracy becomes more established and less likely to return to a non-democratic regime. Examples of consolidated democracies are the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. These democracies have well-established political systems. The most important features of the systems are specified in the states’ … Continue reading Consolidated and Non-Consolidated Democracies
Max Weber: Max Weber describes legitimacy in terms of the citizens’ willingness to obey the commands of the rulers (“Legitimitätsglaube”). Weber defines three sources of legitimacy: (1) Tradition – the system has been there for a long time and is not questioned, (2) charisma of the leader and (3) legality (trust in the justness of … Continue reading Definitions of Legitimacy
How should we define political institutions? According to the Stanford Encyclopedia, social institutions are commonly understood as sets of rules and norms that organise human activities within a society. Following that definition, political institutions could be defined as sets of rules and norms that organise political activity. Institutions do not necessarily have to be written … Continue reading Analysis and Definition of Political Institutions
In his Blog The Conscience of a Liberal and in his weekly New York Times column, Paul Krugman shares his thoughts about the dilemma Greece faces as a result of its economic crisis. Briefly, Krugman detects four possible scenarios in response to the Greek crisis: Scenarios in which Greece will stick to the Euro a) … Continue reading Why Greece can’t leave the Euro
DAISY There is one thing in the relationship between Gatsby and Nick that can't absolutely be decided. Does Gatsby really want a friendship with Nick or does he just use him in order to get closer to Daisy? Gatsby's single goal seems to start an affair with Daisy again and it's probable that at the … Continue reading The Great Gatsby – Relationship between Nick and Gatsby