310LSpring2009StudyingAmericanDemocracy

310LSpring2009StudyingAmericanDemocracy - How to Study...

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How to Study American Democracy
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Disputes over “democracy” Essence: Self-government by the many, rather than the few (aristocracy or a republic) or the one (autocratic or enlightened) Foundation: faith in capacity of ordinary people to govern themselves wisely Basic alternative forms of democracy: Direct democracy Representative democracy
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What does “democracy” mean? Etymologically rule by the people Practically (for most people) whatever describes your own system, or whatever is accepted as describing it Our textbook “a system of self-government by the people; rule by the many” [p. 5] Interesting current instance: Iraq—US concept vs. those of various Iraqi groups/interests
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Fundamental principles [“benchmarks”] of representative Popular sovereignty Political equality Political liberty
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Particular questions about the textbook’s definition What is meant by “popular sovereignty”? What is meant by “political equality”?
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2010 for the course GOV 310L taught by Professor Kieth during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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310LSpring2009StudyingAmericanDemocracy - How to Study...

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