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Anti-PluralismThe Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy$
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William A. Galston

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300228922

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300228922.001.0001

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Liberal Democracy in Theory

Liberal Democracy in Theory

(p.19) Two Liberal Democracy in Theory

William A. Galston

Yale University Press

This chapter distinguishes and connects four concepts—the republican principle, democracy, constitutionalism, and liberalism. By the republican principle, the chapter refers to popular sovereignty or, more formally, the people as the sole source of legitimacy. Meanwhile, the concept of democracy at the most basic level requires the equality of all citizens along with a broadly inclusive scope for citizenship. Constitutionalism denotes basic, enduring structures of formal institutional power, typically but not always codified in writing. Finally, liberalism creates a sphere beyond the rightful reach of government in which individuals can enjoy independence and privacy. With these concepts in place, the chapter ventures to create a more precise characterization of liberal democracy.

Keywords:   liberal democracy, republican principle, democracy, constitutionalism, liberalism

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