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“Why Democracy?” On the Importance and Actuality of Alf Ross’ Views Upon Representative Democracy

Tideman, Rasmus (2008)
Department of Law
Abstract
The purpose of this graduate thesis is to discuss the concept of democracy as conceived of by Alf Ross in his book ''Why democracy?, one of the most important works on democracy that appeared in the 20th century. Further, the thesis aims to establish whether or not Ross' views, seen against the background of modern Swedish democracy, might still be of interest in our days. According to Ross, democracy is a method of governing, and democracy as an Ideal Type can serve as a tool in examining actual government structures in order to determine the level of democracy, i.e. the democratic factor. With respect to this factor, Ross differentiates between three entities, namely: Intensity, which refers to the breadth of the eligible... (More)
The purpose of this graduate thesis is to discuss the concept of democracy as conceived of by Alf Ross in his book ''Why democracy?, one of the most important works on democracy that appeared in the 20th century. Further, the thesis aims to establish whether or not Ross' views, seen against the background of modern Swedish democracy, might still be of interest in our days. According to Ross, democracy is a method of governing, and democracy as an Ideal Type can serve as a tool in examining actual government structures in order to determine the level of democracy, i.e. the democratic factor. With respect to this factor, Ross differentiates between three entities, namely: Intensity, which refers to the breadth of the eligible electorate&semic Effectiveness, which refers to the degree to which people are given the possibility to realize their wishes&semic and, finally, Extent, which refers to the number of government organs under the control of the people. By applying Ross' Ideal Type to that concept of democracy which emerges from the final report of the ''Swedish Democracy Commission'' (2000), it can be established that modern Sweden is almost ideally democratic. Indeed, in some respects - mainly concerning the principle of human equality and the trust in the people's capacity to understand complex political issues, to form a well founded opinion on them and to take active part in the political process - Swedish democracy seems to be considerably more ''up-to-date'' compared to Ross' views. While Ross in some respects adhered to thoroughly modern and humanistic ideas, he does not, in other respects - mainly concerning his ambiguity with respect to the principle of human equality - emerge as democratic as we would have wished the classical theorist of democracy to be. Nevertheless, Ross' concept of democracy - democracy as a matter of degree - stands out as highly interesting and will presumably continue to do so even in the 21st century. (Less)
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author
Tideman, Rasmus
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Allmän rättslära
language
English
id
1562591
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:30
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:30
@misc{1562591,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this graduate thesis is to discuss the concept of democracy as conceived of by Alf Ross in his book ''Why democracy?, one of the most important works on democracy that appeared in the 20th century. Further, the thesis aims to establish whether or not Ross' views, seen against the background of modern Swedish democracy, might still be of interest in our days. According to Ross, democracy is a method of governing, and democracy as an Ideal Type can serve as a tool in examining actual government structures in order to determine the level of democracy, i.e. the democratic factor. With respect to this factor, Ross differentiates between three entities, namely: Intensity, which refers to the breadth of the eligible electorate&semic Effectiveness, which refers to the degree to which people are given the possibility to realize their wishes&semic and, finally, Extent, which refers to the number of government organs under the control of the people. By applying Ross' Ideal Type to that concept of democracy which emerges from the final report of the ''Swedish Democracy Commission'' (2000), it can be established that modern Sweden is almost ideally democratic. Indeed, in some respects - mainly concerning the principle of human equality and the trust in the people's capacity to understand complex political issues, to form a well founded opinion on them and to take active part in the political process - Swedish democracy seems to be considerably more ''up-to-date'' compared to Ross' views. While Ross in some respects adhered to thoroughly modern and humanistic ideas, he does not, in other respects - mainly concerning his ambiguity with respect to the principle of human equality - emerge as democratic as we would have wished the classical theorist of democracy to be. Nevertheless, Ross' concept of democracy - democracy as a matter of degree - stands out as highly interesting and will presumably continue to do so even in the 21st century.},
  author       = {Tideman, Rasmus},
  keyword      = {Allmän rättslära},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {“Why Democracy?” On the Importance and Actuality of Alf Ross’ Views Upon Representative Democracy},
  year         = {2008},
}