Liberalism Against Populism: A Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice

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9780881333671: Liberalism Against Populism: A Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice
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The discoveries of social choice theory have undermined the simple and unrealistic 19th century notions of democracy, especially the expectation that electoral institutions smoothly translate popular will directly into public policy. One response to these discoveries is to reject democracy out of hand. Another, which is the program of this book, is to save democracy by formulating more realistic expectations. Hence, this book first summarizes social choice theory in order to explain the full force of its critique. Then it explains, in terms of social choice theory, how politics and public issues change and develop. Finally, it reconciles democratic ideals with this new understanding of politics.

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Titles of related interest from Waveland Press: Abbott, Political Thought in America: Conversations and Debates, Fourth Edition (ISBN 9781577666271); Arnhart, Political Questions: Political Philosophy from Plato to Rawls, Third Edition (ISBN 9781577662631); and Levy, Political Thought in America: An Anthology, Second Edition (ISBN 9780881336887).

Review:

". . . a persuasive theory of political change that one rarely encounters in the study of politics." -- Journal of Economic Literature

". . . a work of consequence . . . it will endure because it is almost certain to generate a significant debate about issues that go to the heart of both nomenclature and positive theorizing about politics." -- American Political Science Review

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