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Democracy
     

Democracy

by Jack Jack, Andrew Reeve (Introduction)
 

Jack Lively, who died in 1998, published Democracy in 1975. It is a 'classic' because it deals with a large and highly controversial subject in a brief, clear and definite way. It exemplifies the art of producing a short book on a large subject, written with quiet authority that inspires the reader's confidence in the judgements being made. Part of this

Overview

Jack Lively, who died in 1998, published Democracy in 1975. It is a 'classic' because it deals with a large and highly controversial subject in a brief, clear and definite way. It exemplifies the art of producing a short book on a large subject, written with quiet authority that inspires the reader's confidence in the judgements being made. Part of this authoritativeness derives from his perspective being richly informed by historical study. The central thesis is that the meaning of democracy is political equality. Less explicitly but importantly, there are two related sub-themes: the relationship between political equality and social equality, and the need (as Lively saw it) to consider political equality as one of a number of desirable social values which might need to be weighed in the balance. This thesis, and these themes, are in one way timeless; and the book may justly be regarded as a classic exposition of the political equality characterisation of democracy. In another way, the book is a classic because it deals with a particular period in the academic debate about democracy: when the value (and even the possibility) of normative enquiry was widely doubted; when the status of 'political theory' was challenged both in the discipline of politics and by the claims of other 'modes of theorising' (Lively's term); and, above all, when the value (and even possibility) of democracy itself was strenuously contested.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780955248801
Publisher:
European Consortium for Political Research
Publication date:
03/12/2008
Series:
EEM Social Science Monographs Series
Pages:
130
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.28(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

JACK LIVELY - for 14 years Professor of Politics at Warwick University - saw himself, as he put it, as a child of the Enlightenment. His extensive publications include a study of Enlightenment thought, as well as works on Alexis de Tocqueville and early utilitarianism. He was concerned to resist fashionable ideas about the death of liberalism, the impossibility of rational political discourse, and the allegedly crippling relativity of morality. He was deeply imbued with Millian values - with the importance of self- culture, and of the pursuit of the general welfare within a just liberal political settlement. He told his students that he strongly endorsed T.H. Green's view that they were privileged to have access to higher education (as he conceived it), and that they had a duty both to take full advantage of it and to repay the community for it.

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