Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2018

Center/Program

Center for Law and Philosophy

Abstract

Why democracy? Institutions of government and others must meet conditions of legitimacy. Why? and what are they? what are principles of legitimacy, like the principle of subsidiarity? and how does democracy fit in a theory of legitimacy? The paper surveys what it takes to be the seven most important advantages of democratic government: civil and political rights, more extensive opportunities for people to engage in public affairs, responsiveness to the expressed preferences of the people, stability, peaceful transfer of power, loyalty and solidarity. It then considers the role of legitimation in securing these advantages. These reflection lead to the question whether other regimes can secure the same advantages? And more importantly: given that all democratic regime rely also on non-democratic institutions, how are we to debate questions like how much democracy is needed? A question which arises within a single regime and in the interaction between several, say national and international, regimes.

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