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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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(p.256) Chapter 9 Conclusion
The Priority of Democracy

Jack Knight

James Johnson

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter assesses the ways in which this study's pragmatist account might answer the practical question about the acceptance of democratic politics. Unlike most normative arguments, this study's pragmatist account directly incorporates the inevitability of disagreement and conflict. In doing so, it provides an argument for the central role of ongoing political debate in establishing and maintaining the bases of legitimacy and obligation. And, through an analysis of the effects of democratic decision making on the collective outcomes that it produces, the study makes a case for the superiority of a democratic institutional framework as the forum for undertaking such debates. It argues that when there is persistent conflict and disagreement, making collective decisions democratically is the best means of creating an institutional environmental in which both individual and collective life plans can be effectively pursued.

Keywords:   pragmatism, democratic politics, political debate, democratic decision making, collective outcomes, democratic institutional framework, collective decisions

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