Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the People:
The Betrayal of an Ideal
Author: Majid Behrouzi
Publisher: Lexington Books (imprint of Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group)
Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the People: The Betrayal of an Ideal argues that the conception of democracy that prevails in the general consciousness of the contemporary world is a distorted version of the "original" idea of democracy. An important component of democracy in its original formulation was the ideal of the citizens' direct participation in the legislative and political decision-making process, yet modern representative governments frequently disregard this fundamental component. While often justified by claims of impracticality, Majid Behrouzi sets up the case for a return the ideal of direct democracy. Offering a short conceptual history of the idea of democracy, this book aims to provide an account of the efforts and the relevant historical and theoretical developments that have contributed to the "perversion" of the original idea of democracy, ultimately retrieving the idea of the direct, deliberative, and equal participation of all citizens in political decision-making. Together with its companion volume, Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the Citizen: Direct-Deliberative e-Democracy, this book is essential to scholars interested in the evolution of modern democracy and the future of politics.
About the Author:
Majid Behrouzi holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from York University (Canada). In addition to philosophy, he has also studied mathematics and engineering and holds advanced degrees in these fields. He currently teaches mathematics and philosophy in Cleveland.
Part I: The Idea of Democracy in Pre-Liberal and Non-Liberal Societies
The "Original" Idea of Democracy
Macpherson and the Idea of Democracy as a "Class Affair"
Rousseau and the Idea of the Sovereignty of the "General Will"
The "Marxian Idea of Democracy": The Ideal and the Real
Bolshevism and the Idea of "Proletarian Democracy"
Concluding Remarks to Part I
Part II: The Case of the Liberal State and Liberal Democracy
Liberalism and the Rise of the Liberal State
The Liberal State and the Idea of Representative Government
The Rise of the Liberal-Democratic State
Schumpeter and the Liberal-Democratic Conception of Democracy
Justifying Representative Government
Concluding Remarks to Part II
Part III: The Case of the Late Liberal-Democracy
The Late Liberal-Democratic State: Crisis of Representative Democracy
Theories of Participatory Democracy
Theories of Deliberative Democracy
Concluding Remarks to Part III
Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the Citizen: Direct-Deliberative e-Democracy
Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the Citizen: Direct-Deliberative e-Democracy conceptualizes the age-old idea of democracy in a new way. The fundamental idea underlying this new conceptualization is the now-neglected notion of the people's sovereignty. Although democracy means rule by the people, the people cannot rule unless they are empowered to do so. In order to introduce the notion of sovereignty, and its direct exercise into the liberal-democratic conceptual scheme, this book attempts to "individuate" the idea of the people's sovereignty via individuating the notion of the political empowerment of the people. Using the existing theoretical framework of American liberal democracy as its theoretical grounds, Majid Behrouzi argues that present-day American society has at its disposal the material and technological means and infrastructures (e.g. "e-technologies"), and the political-cultural institutions needed for the actualization of the idea of the direct exercise of the individuated sovereign powers. Together with its companion volume, Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the People: The Betrayal of an Ideal, this book is essential to scholars interested in the evolution of modern democracy and the future of politics and political technology.