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493065 Democratic Theory

The following essay questions test your ability to process and apply the concepts and the authors. The length or format of your answer is less important than your depth of the analysis. Support your opinions with authors and text. Each essay should be no less than 1 page. The authors I need to use are de Condorcet, Dewey, David Truman, Jeremy Waldon, Dahl, Nicholas Miller, Donald Horowitz, and Robert Bellah.

1) An overarching theme in the course is the pull between individualism and the collective. The term "liberal democracy" itself can seem oxymoronic. Liberal indicates individual while democracy indicates the collective. Describe two different ways in which individualism and the collective pull against each other within the context of a liberal democracy. Then, describe either how balanced is achieved or why true balance is impossible.

2) Two cases, Kelo v New London and Lawrence v Texas were used as examples of conflicts that arise when trying to balance different considerations. Describe how one of the two cases relates to a concept AND the writings of at least one author. How do the circumstances of the case and/ or the decision in the case reflect political theory?

3) Describe how John Dewey, Waldon or Dahl updates, expounds on, or contradicts one of the following: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Tocqueville, or Mann.

4) We often think of stability, minimal conflict, homogony, and shared common interests as good things with a nation. However, pluralism assumes a preference for differences and heterogeneity. Pluralist theorists say we want a noisy public square and constant, robust competition among groups and ideas. We want aggregate preferences to change back and forth in perpetuity. Why? Why is pluralism necessary within the context of a liberal democracy? Use at least two authors to answer this question.

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