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Choose your country's store to see books available for purchase. See if you have enough points for this item. Sign in. Exploring problems that had been left unsolved by traditional thought on democracy, Dahl here examines two influential models—the Madisonian, which represents prevailing American doctrine, and its recurring challenger, populist theory—arguing that they do not accurately portray how modern democracies operate. He then constructs a model more consistent with how contemporary democracies actually function, and, in doing so, develops some original views of popular sovereignty and the American constitutional system.

For this fiftieth-anniversary edition, Dahl has written an extensive new afterword that reevaluates Madisonian theory in light of recent research.


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And in a new foreword, he reflects back on his influential volume and the ways his views have evolved since he wrote it. For any student or scholar of political science, this new material is an essential update on a gold standard in the evolving field of democratic theory. Thinking Like a Lawyer. Kenneth J. How Judges Think. Richard A.

A Matter of Interpretation. Antonin Scalia. Active Liberty. Stephen Breyer. America's Unwritten Constitution. Akhil Reed Amar. Constitutional Personae. Cass R. Weak Courts, Strong Rights. Mark Tushnet. A Constitution of Many Minds. The Invisible Constitution.

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A Preface to Democratic Theory, Expanded Edition

Toward an Ethic of Citizenship. William K. Constitutional Fate. Philip Bobbitt. Simeon C. The Tempting of America. Robert H. Sanford Levinson.

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The Power of Precedent. Michael J. The Theory and Practice of Statutory Interpretation. Frank B. The Challenge of Originalism. Grant Huscroft. On Constitutional Disobedience. Louis Michael Seidman. George W. Interpreting Statutes. Neil MacCormick. The Rise of Modern Judicial Review. Christopher Wolfe. On the Side of the Angels.


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    A Preface to Democratic Theory

    Similar ebooks. See more. How Democratic Is the American Constitution? In this provocative work, an American political scientist poses the question, Why should we uphold our constitution?. The vast majority of Americans venerate the American Constitution and the principles it embodies, but many also worry that the United States has fallen behind other nations on crucial democratic issues, including economic equality, racial integration and women's rights.

    Robert Dahl explores the vital tension between the Americans' belief in the legitimacy of their constitution and their belief in the principles of democracy. Dahl starts with the assumption that the legitimacy of the American Constitution derives solely from its utility as an instrument of democratic governance. Dahl demonstrates that, due to the context in which it was conceived, the constitution came to incorporate significant antidemocratic elements. Because the Framers of the Constitution had no relevant example of a democratic political system on which to model the American government, many defining aspects of the political system were implemented as a result of short-sightedness or last-minute compromise.

    Dahl highlights those elements of the American system that are most unusual and potentially antidemocratic: the federal system, the bicameral legislature, judicial review, presidentialism, and the electoral college system. The political system that emerged from the world's first great democratic experiment is unique - no other well-established democracy has copied it.

    Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Exploring problems that had been left unsolved by traditional thought on democracy, Dahl here examines two influential models—the Madisonian, which represents prevailing American doctrine, and its recurring challenger, populist theory—arguing that they do not accurately portray how modern democracies operate. He then constructs a model more consistent with how contemporary democracies actually function, and, in doing so, develops some original views of popular sovereignty and the American constitutional system. For this fiftieth-anniversary edition, Dahl has written an extensive new afterword that reevaluates Madisonian theory in light of recent research.

    And in a new foreword, he reflects back on his influential volume and the ways his views have evolved since he wrote it.

    An economic theory of democracy

    For any student or scholar of political science, this new material is an essential update on a gold standard in the evolving field of democratic theory. About the Author Robert A. Madisonian Democracy 2. Populistic Democracy 3. Polyarchal Democracy 4. Equality, Diversity, and Intensity 5.

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