"Democracy and Its Critics" by Robert A. Dahl

Democracy and Its Critics Robert A. Dahl

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
24 Jul 1991
ISBN:
9780300049381
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
397 pages: 235 x 156mm
Sales territories:
World

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In this prize-winning book, one of the most prominent political theorists of our time makes a major statement about what democracy is and why it is important.  Robert Dahl examines the most basic assumptions of democratic theory, tests them against the questions raised by its critics, and recasts the theory of democracy into a new and coherent whole.  He concludes by discussing the directions in which democracy must move if advanced democratic states are to exist in the future. 
“When Robert Dahl speaks about democracy, everyone should listen.  With Democracy and Its Critics Dahl has produced a work destined to become another classic.”—Lucian W. Pye, American Political Science Review
“In this magisterial work [Dahl]… describe[s] what democracy means…; why our own democracy is still deeply flawed; and how we could reform it…. A work of extraordinary intelligence and, what is even rarer, a work of extraordinary wisdom.”—Robert N. Bellah, New York Times Book Review
Robert A. Dahl, Sterling Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Yale Universtiy, is also the author of Who Governs?, After the Revolution?, Polyarchy, and Dilemmas of Pluralist Democracy, all available from Yale University Press.

"Like democratic theory itself, Dahl's book is hugely inspiring. . . . this is a hugely impressive book, which traces the assumptions of democratic theory from 5th-century Athens to the present day and beyond. it is remarkable for its sustained attempt to connect theory and practice."—Susan Mendus, The Times Higher Education Supplement


"One of the foremost contemporary theorists of pluralist democracy."—Jack Lively, Times Literary Supplement


"[This book] could not have come at a more opportune moment. . . . Democracy and Its Critics is a work of extraordinary intelligence and, what is even rarer, a work of extraordinary wisdom. Mr. Dahl writes clearly and effectively. . . . The discussion is fresh and illuminating, the treatment of alternative views careful and respectful, the difficulties in his own views spelled out in detail. An attentive reader of this book will receive a real education in the meaning of democracy. . . . Beneath all the moderation and devotion to intellectual clarity that are so evident in this book, there is the moving presence of a profound passion for democracy."—Robert N. Bellah, New York Times Book Review


"America's leading expert on democratic theory delivers his magnum opus."—Philadelphia Inquirer


"Like democratic theory itself, Dahl's book is hugely inspiring. . . . This is a hugely impressive book, which traces the assumptions of democratic theory from 5th-century Athens to the present day and beyond. it is remarkable for its sustained attempt to connect theory and practice."—Susan Mendus, The Times Higher Education Supplement


"Dahl defends democracy against various criticisms, including anarchism and its tenet that even democracy is coercive. . . . A necessary purchase."—David Steiniche, Library Journal


"A necessary purchase for graduate libraries and recommended for undergraduate and public libraries."—Library Journal


"Robert Dahl is one of the great communicators. . . . Democracy and its Critics sums up a career of 30 years as the leading American writer on the theory and the practice of democratic government."—Alan Ryan, New Statesman and Society


Winner of the 1991 Elaine and David Spitz Book Award given by the International Conference for the Study of Political Thought for the best book published on liberal and/or democratic theory


Winner of the 1990 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Book Award given by the American Political Science Association for the best book published in the United States during the previous year on government, politics, or international affairs


"Robert Dahl is both a subtle analyst and a staunch defender of democratic values. What impresses me most is that he sees democracy not just as something fixed or given, but as a process that needs to be extended into every area of society, the economic as well as the political. His new book continues his splendid work."—Irving Howe


"This elegantly written book presents a synthesis of over thirty years of work by America's leading post-war democratic theorist. Dahl's clear, incisive style will appeal to the general reader as well as to specialists in political theory and comparative politics."—Alan Ware, University of Warwick