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Breaking Democracy’s Spell$
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John Dunn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300179910

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300179910.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

Diagnosing Democracy’s Power

Diagnosing Democracy’s Power

(p.9) One Diagnosing Democracy’s Power
Breaking Democracy’s Spell

John Dunn

Yale University Press

This book challenges the notion that democracy is synonymous with good government, and that a country endowed with the facilities for democracy is capable of governing itself well. To this end, it examines the sources of democracy’s current claim to authority as well as the processes through which that claim has gained remarkable ascendancy. It also looks at the main mechanisms through which that ascendancy has impaired our collective political judgment, with the goal of de-parochializing the understanding of democracy for today and tomorrow. It argues that such acutely parochial sensibility has been extremely harmful to many millions of people in America. In addition, the book explores why the word “democracy” currently holds such singular political authority. Finally, it discusses two interrelated dimensions related to democracy’s erratic ascent worldwide: the experience of politics and the structuring of political conflict.

Keywords:   democracy, good government, authority, political judgment, America, politics, political conflict

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