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The problem with democracy

Flinders, M. (2015) The problem with democracy. Parliamentary Affairs, 69 (1). pp. 181-203.

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There can be little doubt that of all the great 'enduring ideas' there can be few so central to modern life around the world as 'democracy'. Indeed, an ongoing academic monitoring project has so far catalogued over 500 variants, forms or sub-species of this model of social organisation. It is therefore both a concept with adjectives and also a concept with something of an image problem and this is reflecting in a vast literature that revolves around the perceived growth of 'disaffected democrats'. So what is the problem with democracy? This article responds by identifying not one but seven 'problems' with democracy which, when woven together, reveal a withering away of our capacity to re-imagine a different way of living; to re-connect with those around us; to re-interpret challenges as opportunities or to re-define how we understand and make democracy work.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © The Author 2015.
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