Chapter 9: The necessity of democracy - and its limits
Restricted access

Some propose to extend democracy radically throughout society, ignoring evidence of its feasible and practical limits. The failure of extended democracy could lead to an anti-democratic reaction. The is also the danger of the tyranny of majorities over minorities. The severe limitations of direct democracy are illustrated by the Five Star Movement in Italy. The view that democracy should be a machine to express individual preferences is rejected. Studies have revealed the limitations of deliberative democracy and citizens’ assemblies. The are costs and benefits - both functional and moral - for a citizen to vote. While the moral benefits of duty or virtuous citizenship can outweigh the net functional costs of voting, the moral costs of becoming adequately informed on key issues are huge. There is strong evidence that some participation in workplace decision making can be beneficial. The benefits of representative democracy are outlined. Proposals to extend democracy should be evidence-based.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account