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Public Law and Democracy in the United Kingdom and the United States of America$
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P. P. Craig

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198256373

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256373.001.0001

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Participatory Democracy: The Radical View

Participatory Democracy: The Radical View

(p.366) 11 Participatory Democracy: The Radical View
Public Law and Democracy in the United Kingdom and the United States of America


Oxford University Press

This chapter considers a radical view of participatory democracy. First, it presents two recent visions of participatory or empowered democracy, those advanced by Barber and Unger. The possibility of some form of participatory democracy is a recurring theme amongst critics of pluralism. Second, the enquiry focuses upon the central normative assumptions underlying these theories. It also examines the institutional ordering of the society which is required to effectuate these objectives. It reveals the tension between decentralization and centralization, and questions how far such theories sustain their own claim that society should be open to continual transformation. Third, it discusses the role of public law within participatory democracy, considering the extent to which any role succeeds in avoiding the dilemmas which are said to beset courts under the liberal political theory.

Keywords:   participatory democracy, strong democracy, empowered democracy, Barber, Unger

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