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Palgrave Macmillan


ISBN 9780230341142
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

What is the future of democracy? Is it steadily improving in scope, depth, and accountability? Is it being marginalized by economic forces? Or has it already progressed too far? This book argues that none of these assessments is right, and instead that democracy is becoming 'hyper.' An increasingly well-educated citizenry and freer flow of information contribute to the intensification of democracy, but at the same time begin to impede decision-making by contesting more and more of the cognitive preconditions that decision-making rests upon. Under hyperdemocracy, democracy begins to undermine itself. This book applies the idea of 'reflexive modernization' to democratic theory, setting out a new perspective on the challenges democracy faces.

Stephen Welch is Lecturer in Politics at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University, UK. He is the author of The Concept of Political Culture and The Theory of Political Culture, as well as various articles and chapters on political culture, political scandal, and aspects of American politics.

1. Introduction: Hyperdemocracy, the Cognitive Dimension of Democracy, and Democratic Theory
2. The Cognitive Dimension of Democracy from Plato to Mill
3. Constitutive Theory: Competition, Polyarchy and the Cognitive Dimension of Democracy
4. Causal Theory: Progressive and Skeptical Strands of Modernization Theory
5. Cognitive Mobilization and Reflexive Modernization: Deriving the Theory of Hyperdemocracy
6. The Decline of Democracy: Social Capital and Post-Democracy versus Hyperdemocracy
7. The Revival of Democracy: Deliberative Democracy and Postmodern Democracy versus Hyperdemocracy
8. Symptoms of Hyperdemocracy (I): Science and Expertise
9. Symptoms of Hyperdemocracy (II): The Media
10. Conclusion: The Place and the Trajectory of Hyperdemocracy


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