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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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Fugitive Democracy

Fugitive Democracy

(p.100) Chapter 5 Fugitive Democracy
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

This chapter attempts to retrieve aspects of democracy that suggest a tension with the organizational impulses of ancient and modern constitutionism. Today, democracy is universally acclaimed as the only true criterion of legitimacy for political systems and its real presence is said to consist of free elections, free political parties, free press, and the free market. The specifications are so precise that the United States periodically dispatches experts to Central America to determine whether those requirements have been met. However, hardly anyone questions whether the self-styled “advanced industrialized democracies” really are democracies, and fewer still care to argue that “the people” actually rules in any one of them, or that it would be a good idea if it did.

Keywords:   democracy, political theory, constitutionism

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