Iscussion: Challenges Posed by Democracy

Week 10 Assignment

Application: Critiques of Democracy
Note: The Application Assignment is due by Day 3, prior to the Discussion.
The United States often is singled out as a shining example of democratic governance; however, the U.S. system of governance is not immune to criticism. Scholars from the right and the left point out flaws in the U.S. system from its founding to its present state. An interesting feature of democratic governance is that loyal opposition and dissent are built into the system. Some democracies, including the United States, have benefited greatly from those who criticized the status quo. Not everyone who criticizes aspects of a democratic system is a detractor. On the other hand, not all criticisms are valid. In fact, some criticisms may be destructive or easily refuted. One asset of democratic systems is the ability to improve and reform successfully when faced with a legitimate criticism. Evaluating which criticisms provide an adequate justification for reform is a more difficult task.
To prepare for this assignment:
a? Review the article a?Framing the Constitutiona? in this weeks Learning Resources. Take note of critiques of democracy in the article.
a? Review the article a?Democracy: Confusion and Agreementa? in this weeks Learning Resources. Focus on the conflicting definitions of democracy. Consider whether having multiple definitions for democracy is a shortcoming of democracy.
a? Review the articles a?Platos Criticisms of Democracy in the Republica? and a?Is Democracy Possible?a? in this weeks Learning Resources. Pay particular attention to dissenting arguments about democracy.
a? Think about why critiques of democracy might be an important element of democratic governance.
a? Reflect on the role of critiques of democracy in reforming and improving democratic governance.
a? Using the knowledge you have gained from this course, the Learning Resources for this week, and/or your own research on democracy, select two critiques of democracy for this assignment.
a? Consider (as they relate to governance and public policy) the validity of the critiques, their constructive or destructive nature, and how they might be rebutted.
The assignment (3a 5 pages):
a? Briefly describe the two critiques of democracy that you selected.
a? Evaluate them as follows (as they relate to governance and public policy):

o Explain why and how the critiques might be valid and constructive.
o Explain why and how the critiques might be invalid and destructive.
o Explain how you might rebut or refute the critiques.
a? Share insights and/or draw conclusions based on your evaluation of critiques of democracy.
Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.
Submit your assignment by Day 3.

After you have completed the Application, please proceed to the Discussion.

Week 10 Assignment

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Week 10 Discussion


Welcome to the Week 10 Discussion area!
Post your responses to the Discussion based on the course requirements.
After you have completed the Discussion, you will have completed Week 10. Please proceed to Week 11.

Week 10 Discussion Forum

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Additionally, please paste your initial Discussion post into a Microsoft Word document, save it with the file name WK10Disc+first initial+last name.doc”, and submit it to Turnitin via the View/Complete link below.


Week 10 Discussion

To submit your completed Discussion for Turnitin review and grading, do the following:

Click the View/Complete link. Then click the Submit button next to the name of the assignment. Once you have clicked on the link, scroll down and choose the appropriate paper item submission method from the drop down menu and fill in the remaining required fields. (Please use the naming convention a?WK10Disc+first initial+last namea? as the Submission Title.)

Next, click on the Browse button. Find the document you saved as WK10Disc+first initial+last name.docand click Open. Then click on the Upload button at the bottom of the page. You will then see a screen where you may review your submission. Once you have finished reviewing your submission, click on the Submit button. Finally, you will see a screen that will indicate your paper was submitted successfully.

Author: Anonymous
Posted Date: Friday, June 24, 2011 8:58:03 AM EDT
Edited Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012 9:56:00 AM EST
Total views: 3 (Your views: 1)

Discussion: Challenges Posed by Democracy

The early weeks of this course emphasized the integral role that process plays in democratic governance. While democratic process is important to democratic governance, it is sometimes slow and messy and may seem to be an impediment more than a means for resolving societys problems. In addition, the daily operations of the democratic system create challenges to its very existence. Particular issues and challenges also may place a strain on democracy. One example is the tension between liberty and safety related to individual rights and personal security. Both issues highlight elements of founding democratic principles, yet they conflict and demonstrate discord within the microcosm of democracy. As a student of governance and public policy, it is important that you are aware of how challenges within democracy might impact day-to-day governance and policy making. Understanding these challenges may be helpful as you develop strategies to surmount them as they arise.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review the video clip Perspectives on the World Speaker Series: Politics in an Age of Partisanshipfeaturing Christine Todd Whitman, and think about the role of partisan politics in democratic governance. Also, consider the conflict between partisan politics and policy making and how partisanship might impact policy making in a democratic government.

Think about how the democratic process might hamper or challenge policy making, and consider strategies that might be used to overcome those challenges.

Revisit the transcript of the Constitution of the United States from Week 5: Learning Resources to review democratic principles. Think about conflicts that may exist among those principles.

Peruse the Internet, periodicals, or other current sources of information for current policy issues on the public agenda.

Select a current policy issue (other than the one on the video clip) that poses a challenge to governance and/or public policy.

Think about how democracy poses a challenge to resolving the policy issue by means of governance and/or public policy.



With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 5 a brief description of the policy issue you selected. Then explain how democracy poses a challenge to the resolution of the issue by means of governance and/or public policy. Be specific and provide examples to illustrate your explanation.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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