By David Beetham
Because the U.S. strives to set up democracy in Iraq and contemplates its personal democratic process within the wake of a sequence of debatable presidential elections, David Beetham deals new insights into democracy. He seems at actual examples equivalent to the position of the citizen and the way huge companies have an effect on democracy in addition to considering the way forward for democracy within the built and constructing worlds.
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Extra resources for Democracy (Beginners Guide)
There are paramilitary groups or militias, vigilante bands and paedophile rings. No doubt all of these help develop their members’ organisational skills and their sense of personal ‘efficacy’. Yet they can be enormously damaging to the quality of public life, and may even threaten to subvert the democratic process itself. Combating these forms of ‘uncivil society’ is a matter for the law enforcement agencies. More complex from a democratic point of view are those legal associations and groups whose programme or ideology is a racist one, or one that encourages the idea of supremacy of one social group over another.
As we saw in the previous chapter, elections and political parties constitute key elements of representative democracy. If they attract increasingly fewer people to participate in them, this must be taken as a significant warning sign. Taken together, these different kinds of evidence reveal increasing dissatisfaction with governments, politicians and the representative process. What is the explanation for this? In theory, the cause might lie with the voters. For example, increasing consumer sophistication among voters might lead them to have higher standards of expectation of government and public services than previously, even though government performance had not changed.
In any case, in most democracies, government is required to consult in the process of policy and legislation, and has formal mechanisms for interested parties to make representations, and for their proper consideration and response. There are some potential drawbacks here, however. Governments are supposed to represent the electorate as a whole, not just particular or sectional interests, so there is a limit to the attention they should give to the views of special groups, however numerous their membership.
Democracy (Beginners Guide) by David Beetham