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Democratic Theory and Practice

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Write an essay of 6 to 8 pages (1,500–2,000 words) that responds to one (1) of the following questions. Please stay within the word length specified. Since the main purpose of the second assignment
is to give you an opportunity to use and reflect upon the assigned readings, you are expected to use only the course materials.
1. Why do Joseph Schumpeter and Max Weber both avoid grounding their theories of democracy in such notions as the common good, natural law, or social justice? What are the most significant
differences between their two “modern” theories? Do you think Weber would approve of Shapiro’s revision (or “supplementation”) of Schumpeter? Does Shapiro close the gap between Schumpeter and
Weber? In what ways does and doesn’t he?
2. People often evolve from having radical political theories in their youth to being more conservative when they are older. Yet, Charles Lindblom and Robert Dahl, two of the leading American
theorists of pluralism in the 1950s and 1960s, seemed to radicalise their ideas in the 1970s and 1980s. Evaluate their changes in position. Was the evolution of neo-pluralism justified? Why or why
3. Is liberal democracy an oxymoron? Be sure to marshal the theories and evidence available in the course materials on both sides of this question before giving a reasoned answer.
4. Do the theories of Hayek, Rawls, Habermas, and/or Marx prove that Chantal Mouffe and Carl Schmitt are wrong to argue that one cannot have democratic politics without an adversary?
5. Are Mouffe’s and Tully’s criticisms levelled at John Rawls and Jurgen Habermas also applicable to the version of deliberative democracy championed by Gutmann and Thompson?
6. How important is the principle of reciprocity to democratic deliberation? Use some examples to illustrate your answer, and be sure to weigh the importance of both substantive and procedural
elements of reciprocity. (Hint: This may require reading some hitherto unassigned portions of Chapter 4 of the Gutmann and Thompson text, as well as other sources.)
7. Jurgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action has been described as the most complete theory of deliberative democracy yet devised. How is the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein marshalled
against Habermas, and why?
8. Jurgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action has been described as the most complete theory of deliberative democracy yet devised. How is the philosophy of Michel Foucault marshalled against
Habermas, and why?

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