- Publisher: Zed Books
- ISBN: 9781783605422
- Price: $28.95 CAD
- Publication Date: Dec 2015
- Rights: Canada
- Pages: 352
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Beasts and Gods
How democracy changed its meaning and lost its purpose
Democracy does not deliver on the things we have assumed are its natural outcomes. Equal opportunity and the individual’s ability to have an impact on decision-making are a mirage. This, coupled with a growing sense of malaise in both new and established democracies forms the basis to the assertion made by some, that these are not democracies at all.
Through considerable, impressive empirical analysis of a variety of voting methods, across twenty different nations, Roslyn Fuller presents the data that makes this contention indisputable. Proving that the party which forms the government rarely receives the majority of the popular vote, that electoral systems regularly produce manufactured majorities and that the better funded side invariably wins such contests in both elections and referenda, Fuller’s findings challenge the most fundamental elements of both national politics and broader society. Coupled with a radical and rigorous reviewing of modern limitations on representation and participation at the national level, Fuller goes on to show how restrictions compound at the international level, as delegated power is delegated yet again.
But there is hope for our world. Beast and Gods argues for a return to democracy as perceived by the ancient Athenians. Boldly arguing for the necessity of the Aristotelian assumption that citizens are agents whose wishes and aims can be attained through participation in politics, and through an examination of what ‘goods’ are provided by democracy, Fuller offers a powerful challenge to the contemporary liberal view that there are no ‘goods’ in politics, only individual citizens seeking to fulfil their particular interests.
An extraordinary work, set to reconfigure the very foundations of modern society.
Preface: What is Democracy?
Introduction: People Power is Born
1. The Myth of Representation
2. The Cost of Delegated Power
3. The Competition to Participate in Modern Democracies
4. The International System
5. The Civil Society Chimera
6. The Roman Republican System and the Founding Fathers of America
7. The Way Forward
8. Misinformed is Disenfranchised
9. The Tyranny of the Majority Investigated
10. Open for Business
About the Author
Dr. Roslyn Fuller is currently a Research Associate at Waterford Institute of Technology and has lectured in International Law at Trinity College, Dublin and National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She is also Legal Correspondent for Russia Today, contributing a regular column on issues of international law.