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The Constitution of EqualityDemocratic Authority and Its Limits$
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Thomas Christiano

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297475

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198297475.001.0001

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Democracy as the Public Realization of Equality

Democracy as the Public Realization of Equality

(p.75) 3 Democracy as the Public Realization of Equality
The Constitution of Equality

Thomas Christiano (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that democracy is grounded in the principle of public equality defended in the first two chapters. Thinking of the grounds of democracy in this way helps us understand the sense in which democracy is intrinsically just, while preserving the idea that democracy serves important purposes that are independent of it and it helps us understand the reasons for equality of citizenship. It also sets the stage for the later chapters on the authority of democracy and its limits. This chapter explores the implications of this grounding of democracy in equality for representative democracy and political equality across age groups and shows how the fairness of democratic procedures is distinct from fair lotteries. It responds to two major objections to democracy: the objection that power ought to be apportioned to knowledge and the objection that power ought to be decentralized rather than democratized.

Keywords:   authority, interests, fairness, justice, majority rule, political equality, procedures, publicity

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