In 411 bce , exploiting the unrest created by Athens’s disastrous and seemingly endless war with Sparta ( see Peloponnesian War ), a group known as the Four Hundred seized control of Athens and established an oligarchy. Less than a year later, the Four Hundred were overthrown and democracy was fully restored. Nine decades later, in 321, Athens was subjugated by its more powerful neighbour to the north, Macedonia, which introduced property qualifications that effectively excluded many ordinary Athenians from the dēmos . In 146 bce what remained of Athenian democracy was extinguished by the conquering Romans.
Ideals of democratic participation and rational self-government have long informed modern political theory. As a recent elaboration of these ideals, the concept of deliberative democracy is based on the principle that legitimate democracy issues from the public deliberation of citizens. This remarkably fruitful concept has spawned investigations along a number of lines. Areas of inquiry include the nature and value of deliberation, the feasibility and desirability of consensus on contentious issues, the implications of institutional complexity and cultural diversity for democratic decision making, and the significance of voting and majority rule in deliberative anthology opens with four key essays--by Jon Elster, JÃ¼rgen Habermas, Joshua Cohen, and John Rawls--that helped establish the current inquiry into deliberative models of democracy. The nine essays that follow represent the latest efforts of leading democratic theorists to tackle various problems of deliberative democracy. All the contributions address tensions that arise between reason and politics in a democracy inspired by the ideal of achieving reasoned agreement among free and equal citizens. Although the authors approach the topic of deliberation from different perspectives, they all aim to provide a theoretical basis for a more robust democratic : James Bohman, Thomas Christiano, Joshua Cohen, Jon Elster, David Estlund, Gerald F. Gaus, JÃ¼rgen Habermas, James Johnson, Jack Knight, Frank I. Michelman, John Rawls, Henry S. Richardson, Iris Marion Young.
We do this work in the knowledge that every one of us impacts democracy at the individual level. From dinner table conversations, to social media activity, to voting on ballot initiatives, these activities influence not only ourselves, but those who are in community with us. The quality of these connections we build as individuals are reflected in the larger community, and ultimately in the decisions we make in our democracy as whole. That’s why we believe a Healthy Democracy starts with strong communities. And strong communities start with you!