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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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Recovering Our Bearings

Recovering Our Bearings

Fatality, Choice, and Comprehension

(p.123) Four Recovering Our Bearings
Breaking Democracy’s Spell

John Dunn

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses democracy’s passage through modern world history as an idea that continues to disorientate people or impair the way they see and feel politics. It argues that democracy has not been a dependable heuristic for a latent normative order in any society by citing the experience of India. After outlining some of the blemishes in India’s democracy, from the flagrant corruption of the government apparatus to the brutality of the country’s police force, the chapter considers the dilemmas of liberal imperialism and suggests that richer, better armed, and technically more advanced society does not guarantee a kinder or more discerning one. It also examines how democracy has become the most potent term of authorization in global political speech. Finally, it highlights the role of universities in giving the world a more coherent understanding of democracy.

Keywords:   democracy, politics, India, government, liberal imperialism, authorization, universities

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