The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy

Paperback | January 25, 2012

byC.B. MacPhersonIntroduction byFrank Cunningham

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In this brief but powerful book, acclaimed political philosopher C.B. Macpherson sets out in bold relief the essence of liberal democracy, both as it is currently conceived and as it might be reimagined. Macpherson argues that from its beginnings liberal democracy has accepted the underpinningprinciple of capitalist societies, that the "market maketh man." If that remains the central assumption of liberal democracy, Macpherson declares, then as an organizing framework for society, liberal democracy has reached the end of its useful life. But if a broader concept of liberal democracy isaccepted - "if [Macpherson writes] liberal democracy is taken to mean ... a society striving to ensure that all its members are equally free to realize their capabilities" - the great days of liberal democracy may yet lie ahead. The Wynford edition includes a new Introduction by Frank Cunningham ofthe University of Toronto.

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In this brief but powerful book, acclaimed political philosopher C.B. Macpherson sets out in bold relief the essence of liberal democracy, both as it is currently conceived and as it might be reimagined. Macpherson argues that from its beginnings liberal democracy has accepted the underpinningprinciple of capitalist societies, that the...

C.B. Macpherson (1911-1987) was professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Widely regarded as Canada's pre-eminent political theorist of the twentieth century, he was the author of numerous books, including Democratic Theory: Essays in Retrieval and The Real World of Democracy, and was named to the Order of Canada, th...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:128 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.32 inPublished:January 25, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195447808

ISBN - 13:9780195447804

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Wynford EditionI. Models and PrecursorsThe Nature of the InquiryThe Use of Models(i) Why Models?(ii) Why Historically Successive Models?(iii) Why These Models?Precursors of Liberal Democracy(i) Democracy and Class(ii) Pre-nineteenth Century Theories as PrecursorsII. Model 1: Protective DemocracyThe Break in the Democratic TraditionThe Utilitarian BaseBentham's Ends of LegislationThe Political RequirementJames Mill's SeesawProtective Democracy for Market ManIII. Model 2: Developmental DemocracyThe Emergence of Model 2Model 2A: J.S. Mill's Developmental DemocracyThe Taming of the Democratic FranchiseModel 2B: Twentieth-Century Developmental DemocracyIV. Model 3: Equilibrium DemocracyThe Entrepreneurial Market AnalogyThe Adequacy of Model 3(i) Descriptive Adequacy(ii) Explanatory Adequacy(iii) Justificatory AdequacyThe Faltering of Model 3V. Model 4: Participatory DemocracyThe Rise of the IdeaIs More Participation Now Possible?(i) The Problem of Size(ii) A Vicious Circle and Possible LoopholesModels of Participatory Democracy(i) Model 4A: An Abstract First Approximation(ii) Model 4B: A Second ApproximationParticipatory Democracy as Liberal DemocracyFurther ReadingIndex