Benjamin Barber's "Strong Democracy" Analytical Essay by theIQman

Benjamin Barber's "Strong Democracy"
This paper discusses Benjamin Barber's views on "thin democracy" and "strong democracy" as expresses in his book "Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age".
# 64378 | 1,050 words | 1 source | MLA | 2005 | US
Published on Mar 08, 2006 in Literature (American) , Political Science (Political Theory) , English (Analysis)

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This paper explains that Benjamin Barber in his book "Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age" defines 'thin democracy" as a democracy in which leaders are elected but they are left to their own devices concerning the majority of issues; people have the powers, which democracy provides, but the demonstration of these powers is primarily manifested in the form of elections. The author points out that Barber is convincing in making his point that "thin democracy" has a tendency to strip citizens of their sense of purpose as manifested by the voter participation rate stagnating in the U.S. at about half of those eligible. The paper stress that Barber loves the thought of a "strong democracy" in which it is not the leaders who make a democracy great but rather an active, informed citizenry.

From the Paper:

""Thin democracy" takes the stance that average citizens are not interested in political matters and are not capable or adequate enough to directly participate in the political process themselves, beyond electing officials. Benjamin Barber feels that the United States democracy is thin and poorly represents the entire population at large. Significant portions of citizens are unable to vote due to restrictions or simply choose to be complacent and abstain from voting. Citizens under the age of eighteen are restricted from voting, as are prisoners, and persons living within the borders who are not nationalized. Citizens who are active in a thin democracy mainly participate in it by electing persons and then monitoring their political decisions (if they choose to do so), allowing the elected (those seen by the majority to have the most expertise and capability to discern what best represents the will of the majority) to do the actual work."

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