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Models of Democracy by David Held

Models of Democracy
Title:
Models of Democracy
Author:
David Held
ISBN:
0745617492
ISBN13:
978-0745617497
Formats available:
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Category:
Social Sciences
Language:
English
Publisher:
Polity Press; 2nd edition (November 4, 1996)
Pages:
408 pages
PDF size:
1903 kb
FB2 size:
1707 kb
EPUB size:
1905 kb

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Models of Democracy by David Held
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Models of Democracy by David Held
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Models of Democracy by David Held
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1707 downloads at 19 mb/s
The first edition of Models of Democracy has proved immensely popular among students and specialists world-wide. In a succinct but far-reaching analysis, David Held provides an introduction to central accounts of democracy from classical Greece to the present and a critical discussion of what democracy should mean today. The second edition has been extensively revised and updated to take account of the significant transformations in world politics during the past ten years. These changes are reflected in new chapters on the impact on democracy of the fall of the Soviet empire, the prospects of the democratic nation-state in the light of the intensification of regionalization and globalization, and the future of democracy in a more global era. The second edition also takes account of the considerable scholarship in political thought in the last decade, and of the challenges it poses to our understanding of the democratic heritage. This has led to a new chapter on republicanism and to thoroughly revised or updated chapters on classical Athens, liberalism, Marxism, the competitive elitism of Weber and Schumpeter, pluralism, and the post-war polarization of democratic ideals. Like its predecessor, the second edition of Models of Democracy combines lucid exposition and clarity of expression with careful scholarship and originality making it highly attractive both to students and to experts in the field. The second edition will prove essential reading for all those interested in politics, political theory and political philosophy.

Reviews:
  • Steel balls
Good.
  • Banal
This book is an excellent initial foray into what democracy means, the historical growth of democracy, and the fractal divisions that lead to its many different forms. Highly recommended as a starting point for studying this form of government.
  • Gugrel
Provides an objective and true democracy and its historical evolution. Personally I marry the cosmopolitan ism and democratic development option for the next century.
Ernesto egmconsult.com
  • Armin
Uni entrance exam book, sucks >_<
  • Agamaginn
This book was from a required readinglist for an undergraduate political science course. Don't have a review for the content yet.
  • Perius
While it provides useful descriptions of a selection different models, this book is neither innovative nor are the descriptions of the particular models entirely adequate. The first two chapters, on Athenian democracy and Republicanism, are more of a copy and paste thing, with some additions. Particularly this latter one is one of the worst chapters in the books. Not only has Mr. Held almost entirely reproduced Skinner's own findings, the chapter is not all that clear and fails to mention important aspects of the tradition, focusing rather on a brief historical description and Macpherson's categories adapted for his purposes (developmental/protective). The chapter on the Liberal model is not good either. He draws mainly on Perry Anderson and Michael Mann for the historical parts, but his actual description of the liberal model is very poor, he instead chose to review authors dear to the tradition. If that could have been useful, it took a life on its own and dominated the chapter. Other chapters, where the author seems to have a better grasp, flow better and are better structured, including his own view at the end of the book. All in all, I don't think this book is all that innovative nor particularly interesting in a lot of ways... . But I found it useful for having compiled and gathered arguments from several authors. For that reason alone, I think it's the best general guide available on the subject.
  • Fenrikree
Held maps different models of democracy, from the Athenian to the present liberal democracy. In chapters 2 and 3 he explains basic concepts, such as Republicanism, elective government, sovereignty, representation, and the general will. In chapter 3, Held also analyses the emergence of the present liberal democracy.

Chapter 4 is about direct democracy as opposed to representative democracy. One would expect this chapter to be related to the Athenian model but this is not the case. Held speaks about the Marxist/socialist and communist variants of democracy. No comparison is made between these models and the classical model.

Part II of the book consists of five chapters (5-9) relating to variants of democracy from the 20th century: elitism, pluralism, legal democracy, participatory democracy. Then there is a curious, short chapter (8) about the emerging democracies in Eastern Europe which raises many issues and leaves many questions unanswered. This chapter does not do justice to the complexity of the issues, and does not really shed ample light on the transformation, democratization, similarities and differences between the countries in Eastern Europe. It is the weakest chapter in the book.

Chapter 9 is about deliberative democracy. One would expect a comparative analysis between this model and the pluralist model. What Held offers is a succinct discussion (pp. 252-255) on value pluralism and democracy that only starts the analysis but is far from completing it.

The last part of the book consists of two chapters (10 and 11). It is titled What should democracy mean today? And it discusses democratic autonomy, democratic legitimacy and it returns to the question of sovereignty. Here Held posits the cosmopolitan model of democracy in which a global parliament connects regions, nations and localities.

This book is very interesting. It provides food for thought as well as ample criticisms. Held's dissections of democracy and the models he offers show just how complicated the concept of democracy, and the extent that it opens for interpretation. With so many models, the reader might become confused, especially when the differences and similarities between the different models are not explained carefully, or at all. Held has many thoughts but he attempted too much. With so many trees, it is difficult to see the forest. The book would be better served if Held were to offer a few models, explain them thoroughly, and compare them comprehensively.
This is a superb book as an entry road into democratic theory. It is far-reaching but not too superficial, the analysis and interpretation are spot on, and the critical lines persued are persuasive and important. Although the solution is not fully expanded Held makes it clear that this is not his intention as this is primarily a survey of democratic theory over the years rather than a constructive thesis.