How Democratic is the American Constitution?

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Yale University Press, 2003 - History - 224 pages
48 Reviews
In this volume, an eminent political scientist questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how Americans might alter their political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.
  

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Review: How Democratic Is the American Constitution?

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Let me preface with saying that I rarely give books 5 stars. A book has to be accessible to me intellectually, keep my interest throughout, compel deep thought or entertain me wildly, and it has to ... Read full review

Review: How Democratic Is the American Constitution?

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

Let me preface with saying that I rarely give books 5 stars. A book has to be accessible to me intellectually, keep my interest throughout, compel deep thought or entertain me wildly, and it has to ... Read full review

Contents

Fundamental Questions
1
CHAPTER 2 What the Framers Couldnt Know
7
An American Illusion
41
CHAPTER 4 Electing the President
73
CHAPTER 5 How Well Does the Constitutional System Perform?
91
CHAPTER 6 Why Not a More Democratic Constitution?
121
CHAPTER 7 Some Reflections on the Prospects for a More Democratic Constitution
141
Changing the Unwritten Constitution
159
On the Terms Democracy and Republic
179
Tables and Figures
185
Notes
195
For Further Reading
215
Index
217
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Robert A. Dahl is the Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University. His numerous books include, most recently, "How Democratic is the American Constitution?" and "On Democracy,"

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