Democracy Defended

ISBN-10: 0521534313
ISBN-13: 9780521534314
Edition: 2003
List price: $57.00 Buy it from $4.28
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Description: Is there a public good? A prevalent view in political science is that democracy is unavoidably chaotic, arbitrary, meaningless, and impossible. Such scepticism began with Condorcet in the eighteenth century, and continued most notably with Arrow and  More...

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Book details

List price: $57.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/27/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 500
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.738
Language: English

Is there a public good? A prevalent view in political science is that democracy is unavoidably chaotic, arbitrary, meaningless, and impossible. Such scepticism began with Condorcet in the eighteenth century, and continued most notably with Arrow and Riker in the twentieth century. In this powerful book, Gerry Mackie confronts and subdues these long-standing doubts about democratic governance. Problems of cycling, agenda control, strategic voting, and dimensional manipulation are not sufficiently harmful, frequent, or irremediable, he argues, to be of normative concern. Mackie also examines every serious empirical illustration of cycling and instability, including Rikers famous argument that the US Civil War was due to arbitrary dimensional manipulation. Almost every empirical claim is erroneous, and none is normatively troubling, Mackie says. This spirited defence of democratic institutions should prove both provocative and influential.

A long, dark shadow over democratic politics
The doctrine of democratic irrationalism
Is democratic voting inaccurate?
The Arrow general possibility theorem
Is democracy meaningless? Arrow's condition of unrestricted domain
Is democracy meaningless? Arrow's condition of the independence of irrelevant alternatives
Strategic voting and agenda control
Multidimensional chaos
Assuming irrational actors: the Powell Amendment
Assuming irrational actors: the Depew amendment
Unmanipulating the manipulation: the Wilmot proviso
Unmanipulating the manipulation: the election of Lincoln
Antebellum politics concluded
More of Riker's cycles debunked
Other cycles debunked
New dimensions
Plebiscitarianism against democracy
Democracy resplendent

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