Is democracy an option for the realist?

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 30 (1-2):1-12 (2018)
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Abstract

In Democracy for Realists, Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels argue that the depressingly well-established fact that people are woefully ignorant on politically relevant matters renders democratic ideals mere “fairy tales.” However, this iconoclasm stands in deep tension with the prescriptions they themselves end up offer-ing towards the end of the book, which coincide to a surprising extent with those that have been offered by democrats for decades. This is a problem because, if we take seriously the type of data that Achen and Bartels rely on —data that should make us realists in the sense of the book’s title—it is not clear that democracy in any recognizable sense remains an option for the realist.

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References found in this work

Why Deliberative Democracy?Amy Gutmann & Dennis F. Thompson - 2004 - Princeton University Press.
The right to a competent electorate.Jason Brennan - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):700-724.
The Epistemic Benefits of Democracy: A Critical Perspective.Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij - 2019 - In M. Fricker, N. J. L. L. Pedersen, D. Henderson & P. J. Graham (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. Routledge.

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