Edited by Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing
Chapter 6: Democratic theory
Democratic theories have illuminated and infused various governance approaches. But, contemporaneously, governance is also challenging traditional democratic culture and practices. Scholars worldwide are grappling with the question of how new governance has instantiated democratic features and mechanisms. They are also attempting to expound the theoretical sources and ways in which democratic features shape what is the specific character of distinct forms of new governance. This chapter pays particular attention to what the different strands of democratic theory imply for the study of governance by focusing on the identification and distinction of how normative and empirical-analytical theories of democracy inspire contemporary governance, and how cardinal democratic ideas and values – inclusion, self-determination and the formation of public opinion and political will – elucidate both broad and narrow meanings of governance concepts and practices from the perspectives of various democratic theories.
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