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Democracy, Agency, and the StateTheory with Comparative Intent$
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Guillermo O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587612.001.0001

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The Democratic Regime (or Political Democracy), and Citizenship as Agency 1

The Democratic Regime (or Political Democracy), and Citizenship as Agency 1

(p.13) 1 The Democratic Regime (or Political Democracy), and Citizenship as Agency1
Democracy, Agency, and the State

Guillermo O'Donnell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

On the basis of a discussion of influential conceptions of democracy, the chapter proposes a definition of a democratic regime (or political democracy) as made by reasonably fair elections, the rights of voting, the freedom to be elected, and some surrounding “political freedoms.” The ensuing argument is that, even though these are indispensable components, democracy includes other ones. The discussion of the undecidability of those freedoms, of the universalistic wager that is entailed by fair elections, of various aspects of the state that an attentive eye discovers under the formal characteristics of the regime, and of the agent that underlies the citizen that grounds democracy as its basic unit, or micro‐ foundation, open various avenues of inquiry that are pursued in the rest of the book.

Keywords:   agency, democratic regime, polyarchy, Dahl, rights, undecidable, Schumpeter, institutionalization, universalistic wager

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