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In Our NameThe Ethics of Democracy$
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Eric Beerbohm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154619

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154619.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
In Our Name
Author(s):

Eric Beerbohm

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154619.003.0001

This book explores three interlocking problems of the ethics of democracy, with the objective of solving them simultaneously: ethics of participation, ethics of belief, and ethics of delegation. Ordinary political morality holds that the denizens of a representative democracy—the electors and the elected—can bear responsibility for their shared terms of interaction. Because the citizens' primary mode of political agency is mediated, they are vulnerable to the charge of participating in the wrongdoing of another. The book considers the special agency relationship between citizens and representatives, the conditions under which injustice is committed in our name as citizens, and how we can void that relationship. Its central claim is that complicity is the professional hazard of democratic citizenship. This introduction provides an overview of the link between the liabilities of citizenship and the demands of citizenship, compares microdemocratic theory with macrodemocratic theory, and previews the chapters that follow.

Keywords:   democracy, ethics, belief, delegation, citizens, representatives, complicity, citizenship, microdemocratic theory, macrodemocratic theory

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