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Aristotle on Participatory Democracy

Delba Winthrop
Polity
Vol. 11, No. 2 (Winter, 1978), pp. 151-171
DOI: 10.2307/3234441
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3234441
Page Count: 21
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Aristotle on Participatory Democracy
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Abstract

The nature and role of political participation have in recent years been the center of discussion with reference to both the American system of government and the more general concepts of political science. The patent indifference of the Founding Fathers of the American republic to participatory democracy seems to have left them open to the charge of undemocratic tendencies. This article argues that such criticism ignores the more basic question of why participatory democracy should be desirable. For a clearer understanding of the principles and problems involved the author refers to Aristotle's analysis of political systems, examining his reasons in favor of democratic participation and speculates as to how participation can be reconciled with its unarticulated premises.

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