Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Political Studies

Project Advisor 1

Roger Berkowitz

Project Advisor 2

Garry Hagberg

Abstract/Artist's Statement

As citizenries around the world become increasingly dissatisfied with the traditionally accepted model of governance, the challenge is to look to forms that better meet a demand for rule by the people. Individuals have largely lost their ability to influence decision-makers within bureaucratic and administrative governments, whose interests are increasingly felt to be divergent from their own. Within "western democracies," it is held that power derives from the people, who appoint their leaders through the majoritarian approval of a voting constituency. Though an imperfect claim to the ideal of "government by the people," it is this system of representative democracy that has thus far proven to the most widely adopted attempt to establish a legitimizing link between the citizen and the ruler. As we experience widespread failures by governments to address environmental, humanitarian and social challenges of the 21st century, the effectiveness of the representative democratic system to act on the collective will of the people is called into question. This paper will study critiques of representative democracy as well as its foundations in the state, going on to investigate alternate forms of democracy emerging in different social and theoretical movements of the 20th and 21st century and arriving at an altogether new articulation of democracy.

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Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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