The Democracy Reader

The Democracy Reader

From Classical to Contemporary Philosophy


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Democracies put political power in the hands of the people. But why should people have a say in the operations of the states that govern them? Are democratic states preferable to non-democratic states? If so, is there something intrinsically good about democracy, or does it merely serve an instrumental role? By what procedures should citizens’ votes be counted? How do we keep the voices of the ignorant from drowning out those of the wise? These, as well as other related questions, are explored in this timely anthology of forty historical and contemporary readings.

Short introductions preceding each reading and a general introduction increase student comprehension across the spectrum of readings. With each reading edited for length and accessibility, this volume is ideal for both the undergraduate and graduate students in political theory and philosophy courses.