Critiques of and Challenges to Democracy
Thus far, this course has presented a fairly positive picture of democracy. You examined democratic principles and standards that guarantee certain freedoms and rights. You explored influences that democracy has on policy networks, which may ultimately shape public policy. In addition, you considered the roles of diversity and leadership as they relate to democratic governance. This week, you consider the shortcomings of democracy. Familiarizing yourself with flaws and imperfections of democratic governance can help you to better understand how to approach problems and issues that arise in the daily work of democracy in action. Therefore, this week you explain critiques of and challenges to democratic governance. As you review the Learning Resources for the week and contemplate the deficiencies of democracy, you might ponder, as Lincoln did in the Gettysburg Address, whether democratic governance “can long endure.”
- Evaluate critiques of democracy related to governance and public policy
Assignment: Application: Critiques of DeThe United States often is singled out as a shining example of democratic governance; however, the U.S. system of governance is not immune to criticism. Scholars from the right and the left point out flaws in the U.S. system from its founding to its present state. An interesting feature of democratic governance is that loyal opposition and dissent are built into the system. Some democracies, including the United States, have benefited greatly from those who criticized the status quo. Not everyone who criticizes aspects of a democratic system is a detractor. On the other hand, not all criticisms are valid. In fact, some criticisms may be destructive or easily refuted. One asset of democratic systems is the ability to improve and reform successfully when faced with a legitimate criticism. Evaluating which criticisms provide an adequate justification for reform is a more difficult task.To prepare for this Assignment:
- Review the article “Democracy, Nationalism and Culture: A Social Critique of Liberal Monoculturalism” in this week’s Learning Resources. Take note of critiques of democracy in the article.
- Review the articles “Plato’s Criticisms of Democracy in the Republic” and “Is Democracy Possible?” in this week’s Learning Resources. Pay particular attention to dissenting arguments about democracy.
- Think about why critiques of democracy might be an important element of democratic governance.
- Reflect on the role of critiques of democracy in reforming and improving democratic governance.
- Using the knowledge you have gained from this course, the Learning Resources for this week, and/or your own research on democracy, select two critiques of democracy for this Assignment.
- Consider (as they relate to governance and public policy) the validity of the critiques, their constructive or destructive nature, and how they might be rebutted.
The Assignment (3–5 pages):
- Briefly describe the two critiques of democracy that you selected.
- Evaluate them as follows (as they relate to governance and public policy):
- Explain why and how the critiques might be valid and constructive.
- Explain why and how the critiques might be invalid and destructive.
- Explain how you might refute or support these critiques.
- Share insights and/or draw conclusions based on your evaluation of critiques of democracy.
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provi
resources to use
Gilley, B. (2009). Is democracy possible?
Journal of Democracy,
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Santas, G. (2007). Plato’s criticisms of democracy in the
Social Philosophy and Policy,
Conversi, D. (2007). Democracy, nationalism and culture: A social critique of liberal monoculturalism. Social Compass, 2(1), 156–182. Retrieved from
Jenco, L. (2003). Thoreau’s critique of democracy.
Review of Politics,
Miller, J. (2002, Aug. 28–Sept. 1).
Democratic rhetoric and democratic audiences. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association 2002 Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.
Please use these materials as references