Start your review of The Theory of Democracy Revisited, Part One: The Contemporary Debate Write a review Shelves: politica Did not read his original Democracy Theory, so I cannot tell how has his thoughts changed, but this is a pretty well developped and well researched book in terms of the extensive bibliography Sartori presents to back up his claims. He brings some pretty good points to take down a bunch of critiques and theories against representative democracy as we know today, and goes even further by saying that the governments are already too opened and transparent, and that this fact only pushes democracy Did not read his original Democracy Theory, so I cannot tell how has his thoughts changed, but this is a pretty well developped and well researched book in terms of the extensive bibliography Sartori presents to back up his claims. He brings some pretty good points to take down a bunch of critiques and theories against representative democracy as we know today, and goes even further by saying that the governments are already too opened and transparent, and that this fact only pushes democracy back. He also claims that democracy does not and should not mean the people are the ones who own and run the government, but rather they are the ones the profit from it - equally - whoever runs it. Though I agree with the fact that politics and government itself are way too great, complicated and sophisticated for common people to understand thoroughly and that the referendum democracy would fail miserably, that is where I disagree with him: democracy itself should indeed be the government of the people - and of course, for the people - and either the terminology should be changed or politics should stop pretending to serve the people through propaganda and the demagoguery itself and really account to them instead of running the nowadays plutocracy.
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Sartori synthesizes a theory of his own which he proffers as a new mainstream view to his readers. His trenchant and swift-moving argument moves deftly among competing schools of thought. The clarity and dramatic power of this erudite work render it very accessible to undergraduate students.
The book did well and is still in print in a number of countries. Why, then, write another book on the same subject? Has the theorizing on democracy changed all that much? In particular, have "new" theories of democracy emerged in the meantime? An impressive number of authors have advanced such claims in the s and s,31 and even though the claims seldom withstand scrutiny, they do warrant a revisit. In order to assess how the present-day theory of democracy relates to the one in the s, this work largely incorporates the earlier one.
Even the incorporated part is almost entirely reformulated, however. Why is that? One changes, I suppose, in response to changes--such as the ones that I am about to mention. To begin with, a pervasive change has occurred in the vocabulary of politics. To an unprecedented extent, authors have come to conceive their concepts at whim. This development has been legitimized by the brave new thought that words have arbitrary meanings.
If so, we are all entitled to a new freedom, to stipulate freely what words mean. This brave new thought obviously had no impact whatsoever on the hard sciences, but eventually obtained devastating effects in the soft areas of knowledge, particularly in the vocabulary of political theory.
Here new theories can be made just out of verbal manipulations. And it is in fact the case that freedom, authority, repression, violence, coercion, tolerance, and many other key terms no longer address--for a sizable public--the problems that the theory of politics has long addressed.
Are we still able to communicate intelligibly? Can we still transmit and accumulate knowledge? I would certainly hope so--but not if nothing is done about it.
Another, not unrelated change bears on the influence of Marxism. The shift is nonetheless a momentous one. Full access to this book and over 94, more Over 14 million journal, magazine, and newspaper articles Access to powerful writing and research tools Book details.
The Theory of Democracy Revisited, Part One: The Contemporary Debate
The Theory of Democracy Revisited
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