Discussion 2: Democratic Theory and Contemporary Governance

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Discussion 2: Democratic Theory and Contemporary Governance

In the first Discussion of this week, you considered how the philosophies of early theorists influenced modern democratic theory. Now you will explain the concept of democratic theory and weigh its impact on modern democratic governance. It is interesting to note that contemporary debates about governance are largely modern manifestations of ancient controversies. For instance, many current land-use controversies involve a conflict between an individual’s right to private property versus the state’s right to protect the public welfare. The details of the conflict may change over time from something as fundamental as the keeping of pigs in early times to more technical issues such as the placement of cellular transmission towers in modern times, but the underlying principles remain the same. Within the realm of governance and public policy, this example illustrates the point made in the proverbial saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

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To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article “American Nightmare: Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, and De-Democratization” in this week’s Learning Resources. Reflect on the various meanings of democracy and how they might apply to contemporary governance.
  • Review the article “Rhetoric and the Public Sphere: Has Deliberative Democracy Abandoned Mass Democracy?” in this week’s Learning Resources. Pay particular attention to how the concept of deliberative democracy applies to contemporary governance.
  • Think about the impact of democratic theory on contemporary governance.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post your thoughts on how democratic theory has impacted contemporary governance. Be sure to include in your post an analysis of democratic theory. Also, provide specific examples to illustrate your point of view.


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