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Vital DemocracyA Theory of Democracy in Action$
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Frank Hendriks

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572786.001.0001

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Closing Debate

Closing Debate

Six Characters in Discussion with the Author

Chapter:
(p.178) Closing Debate
Source:
Vital Democracy
Author(s):

Frank Hendriks (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572786.003.0010

The book tellingly ends with a democratic debate. In this closing debate the six characters that already figured in the opening debate are now challenging the author, referring to issues dealt with in previous chapters, as well as to issues deserving subsequent attention. It is argued that, although it is not impossible to combine democracy with good governance (in the sense of ‘good enough governance’ not in the sense of ‘flawless governance’), it will never be low‐maintenance. It is argued that even without a universal thermometer that indicates when democracy is healthy, it is still worthwhile discussing the vitality of democracy in terms of its perceived effectiveness and legitimacy. It is concluded that the stakeholders in democracy should continue to challenge each other from different angles. The conclusion is that vital democracy is not unlike cycling. ‘To get anywhere, and not fall over, you need to generate your own movement and counter‐movement.’

Keywords:   ideal/real types, idealism/realism, constrained relativism, intelligent design, non‐Western democracy, democratization, liberalization, good enough governance, dynamic stabilization

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