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September 26, 2011 | History

Democracy 1 edition

Cover of: Democracy | Boris DeWiel

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About the Book

What is democracy? Is it the movement toward united self-government in which equality is our highest value? Or is it about preserving the freedom of individuals? In Democracy: A History of Ideas, Boris DeWiel argues that neither of these popular definitions is correct. Inspired by Isaiah Berlin, he describes democracy as a contest of values. Equality and liberty, like justice and fairness, are among our ultimate ideals, but no single value is supreme. Because they conflict with each other, democracy is an endless battle of true yet contrary ideals. The enduring structure of democratic conflict, the book argues, is rooted in the historical emergence of modern values. The approach is based on the simple premise that every new idea begins from an old one. Therefore, our own political ideas may be traced in stages to earlier beliefs about the good. By exploring the history of ideas, the book uncovers the deeply embedded pattern of ideological conflicts in politics today. Based on a sophisticated theory of politics, DeWiel's analysis promotes a better understanding of the major ideologies across democratic nations. By specifying the precise values embedded along the left-right continuum, the book concludes with an improved model of ideological differences for use in empirical and theoretical studies. - Back cover.

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A History of Ideas

Published March 2001 by University of Washington Press in Seattle .
Written in English.

Table of Contents

Democracy and value pluralism
What is the people? A conceptual history of civil society
From ancient virtues to modern values : positive liberty and the creative will
The teleology of modern time : negative liberty and human nature
Splitting the individual : the subatomic values of liberalism
Conservatism and the temporal order
Socialism and the power of social unity
Democracy as a pattern of disagreement

The Physical Object

Number of pages
8.7 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
12.3 ounces

ID Numbers

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September 26, 2011 Edited by Added new cover
September 26, 2011 Edited by Edited without comment.
April 28, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Linked existing covers to the work.
December 11, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page