Explain why or why not modern democracy will survive.

 

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Prepare: Prior to tackling this discussion question, order a pizza and some cold drinks and watch our weekly movie,
After Democracy. As usual, make sure you have the discussion questions handy as your watch the movie so that you can take some notes and respond effectively to these questions. Also, review Chapters 8 to 10 in
A Novel Approach to Politics.


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Reflect: Can the shortcomings of representative democracy, failing political parties, political gridlock, and increasing distrust of government, be addressed within the current system, or is it time to explore a new political model? In this program, five top thinkers in political sociology discuss issues in modern democracy. “Fareed Zakaria asserts that the West has been unable to impose short-term pain for long-term gain; John Keane points to political innovation in South Africa and India while agreeing that other democracies have many unsolved problems; Hilary Wainwright argues that the powers that control money have taken over government; William J. Dobson says that democracies “show their dirty laundry,” but that that is their strength; and Cheng Li offers his perspective on what China’s post-communist growth could mean to the West” (48 minutes) (After, Democracy, 2011, n.p.). The challenges for democracies are many but so are the benefits.


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Write: In your initial post of at least 200 words, address the following:

  • Describe two challenges to modern democracy identified in the film.
  • Assess if the separation of powers and checks and balances are strengths or weaknesses for modern democracies.
  • Discuss two recommendations to address the shortcomings of modern democracy identified in the movie.
  • Explain why or why not modern democracy will survive.