Students should be in a position to understand the course of democracy during the 20th century, recognize the problems of contemporary democratic regimes and be able to consider ways for overcoming them.
Course Content (Syllabus)
Nowadays nobody can deny the existence of the democratic deficit, that is the discrepancy between the way modern democracies operate and citizens’ perception about the way they should operate. The question that arises is whether political philosophy and democratic theory in particular can help in reducing this deficit. The relevant literature is burgeoning but some proposals seem rather to undermine than empower popular sovereignty, which is the cornerstone of democracy. In this course after an introduction to the history of democracy during the 20th century, we will examine, among others, issues related to the crisis of representation, the role of technocrats, the alleged incompetence of citizens, deliberative democracy, direct democracy and the revival of sortition as a method for electing public officials.
Additional bibliography for study
Manfred G. Schmidt, Θεωρίες της δημοκρατίας (Αθήνα: Σαββάλας, 2004)
Robert, Dahl, Περί δημοκρατίας (Αθήνα: Ψυχογιός, 2001)