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The Priority of DemocracyPolitical Consequences of Pragmatism$
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Jack Knight and James Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151236

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151236.001.0001

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Substantive Conditions: Pragmatism and Effectiveness

Substantive Conditions: Pragmatism and Effectiveness

(p.222) Chapter 8 Substantive Conditions: Pragmatism and Effectiveness
The Priority of Democracy

Jack Knight

James Johnson

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that for democratic competition to be effective, individual participants must be free to contribute their ideas and express their beliefs in the input side of the democratic process and make uncoerced choices as participants in determining the outcomes of the process. Effective institutional performance trades on a causal relationship between individual participation and normatively legitimate collective outcomes. The requirements of this causal relationship dictate that participants establish conditions necessary to create an institutional environment that allows for the highest probability of achieving the desired effects. Here the requirements of effective institutional performance dictate that participants attend to substantive aspects of effective individual participation and its preconditions—freedom and equality.

Keywords:   democratic competition, democratic process, institutional performance, individual participation, collective outcomes, freedom, equality, effective participation

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