Writing Assignment on Dahl On Democracy Paper (Essay Sample)
900 words min. Your paper should provide a summary of the major points Dahl presents about the history and meaning of democracy along with other themes covered in the book. Go back to the ideas found in the course announcements about how to navigate through On Democrac
1 What's are the differences between a republic and a democracy and between “ideal” and “actual” democracies? What is a “polyarchy”?
2. Note the 10 desirable consequences of democracy found in Figure 5 on p. 45 and discussed in chapter 5. Pay special attention to items 2, 5 and 8.
3. How do “actual” democracies function?
4. Pay attention to variations in constitutional systems discussed in chapter 10.
5. What are the conditions that favor the development and sustainability of democracy.
6. What are “consociational” democracies (see p. 153 and Appendix B) and what function/purpose do they serve. A consociational system tells us a great deal about how democracies can be constructed, like a piece of architecture, to both accommodate diverse interests in a society and to help keep a majority from overwhelming and denying rights to a minority
Dahl on Democracy
There exist various differences between a democracy and a republic that make it possible for the people of a given nation to choose the best as per their needs. Also, an ideal democracy is different from an actual democracy. Hence, an actual government works in different ways to ensure that they govern the nation effectively.
One of the differences between a democracy and a republic is the manner in which the law places limits on the government hence having various impacts on the minorities. In the case of a republic, the charter or constitution protects specific rights that cannot be taken away or even changed by the government. This is regardless of the fact that the government has been put in power by a majority of the available voters. Given a pure democracy, the majority can also impose its will on the minority because they are not restrained in any given way. On the other hand of a democracy, the republics are governed by a constitution. The government can be changed by a government that has been elected popularly. Another difference is that in the case of a democratic government, all the eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that concern the republic because they are responsible for electing the government, which, in turn, makes the constitution. In a republic, the majority is not in a position to take away certain rights. In general, the case of a democracy allows for private property to be permitted although, in some occasions, the majority can place certain restrictions on property rights. In republics, private rights are allowed except a case whereby, the constitution prohibits certain rights regarding a private property.
An actual government is a government that involves a choice of the people, and whereby the highest power is practiced by the people either indirectly or directly using a combination of certain representatives who are occasionally chosen by the people through elections. It can also refer to a given political unit that has an acting government chosen by the people. An ideal democracy refers to the behaviors of a government that are cumulatively desired by the democracy with the aim of maintaining a an effective leadership. It is a democracy that people wish to have. A polyarchy is a ty...
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