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Demokratins dilemma – den rationella medborgaren: En kritisk idéanalys av Joseph Schumpeter, Robert Dahl och Iris Marion Young
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This Bachelor thesis in Political Science explores and analyzes the theoretical question of rationality as a civic ideal and how it forms the conditions for democracy. In a historical, as well as contemporary, perspective the ordinary citizen is seldom regarded as completely rational. Often democratic institutions facilitate civic rationality by regulations and legislation. In Political Theory, the question of civic rationality has been implicitly and explicitly treated since the beginning of democracy. Its’ importance increases as democracy as an institutional design expands globally. The question of civic rationality and reasonableness is always relevant for discussion – political, societal and theoretical. This study evaluates rationality as a civic ideal in the theories of contemporary political theorists Joseph Schumpeter, Iris Marion Young and Robert Dahl. The aim is to critically analyze the coherence and plausibility of their arguments, using a comparative idea-focused critical method. By doing so, argumentative incoherence and empirical uncertainty is observed and analyzed. The conclusion drawn from this analysis is that for a democracy to be a democracy, government has to be done by the people to some degree. However, theories justifying citizen participation on the assumption of absolute rationality are not necessarily preferable in the light of historic democratic failures. On the other hand, theories doubting citizen competence are too deterministic and therefore unrealistic. For civic rationality to be regarded as democratically coherent, it has to be regarded as existent but imperfect. Democratic institutions become essential as the safety net for eventual civic irrationality and folly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 34 p.
Keyword [sv]
rationalitet, demokrati, politisk teori, epistemisk rationalitet, instrumentell rationalitet, förnuft, elitism, pluralism, diskursiv demokrati
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106181OAI: diva2:735418
Available from: 2014-08-20 Created: 2014-07-28 Last updated: 2014-08-20Bibliographically approved

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