Browsing All Posts filed under »Democratic Theory 2017«

India: Suppressing the press

December 7, 2017

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by Trishala Adwaine Suresh Alexis De Tocqueville’s reflections on the value of a free press in his classic, Democracy in America is intriguing for many reasons. He argues that in a sovereign society, the notion of censorship is in conflict with principles upon which the society itself was founded. Furthermore, he was of the opinion […]

The Special Assistance Plan: Singapore’s own bumiputera policy

December 7, 2017

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by Tee Zhuo “…regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality…” -Extract from Singapore’s National Pledge[1] All citizens are equal… “This is not a Malay nation; this is not a Chinese nation; this is not an Indian nation. Everybody will have his place: equal; language, culture, religion.” […]

‘Catalans Have the Power’

December 7, 2017

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“Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority”, French famous writer Albert Camus wrote in his Carnets III (1951-1959). The issue of minorities in our contemporary world is a complex question. First of all, because no universal definition of what constitutes a minority can be found. Minorities can correspond […]

Why are Singaporeans not discontented despite a big wealth disparity? Communitarian democracy as a social glue in face of wealth inequality

December 7, 2017

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by Jerrick Wee “For indeed any city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich.” Such is Plato’s observation in the Republic two thousand years ago on the divisive effect that wealth inequality has on the social cohesion of citizens in a city. Curiously, […]

The role of Complain Kings and Queens in a democratic society: Examining public discourse in Singapore

December 7, 2017

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by Phang Zi Xin The Singaporean state is often described generously as a developmental state that prides itself on “delivering the goods” and prioritizing the long term over the short term (Chua, 1995, p. 74; Lee, 2011, p. 90). It cites its ability to significantly raise the average living standards in record speed as reasons […]

The Trump era: deliberative democracy’s shame

December 7, 2017

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by Diyanah Kamarudin Many political pundits have been aghast at Trump’s antics as a leader on both the national and international stage. His refusal to apologise for many of his flagrant violations of democratic norms speak to his sense of shamelessness. But does Trump’s lack of shame merely reflect our own disdain for him as […]

The Need for Environmental Democracy

December 7, 2017

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by Darrel Chang This is part two of a two-part essay. The Need for Environmental Democracy In my previous article, I delineated how justice demands an “environmental egalitarianism” built upon Martha Nussbaum’s list of “basic capabilities,” wherein environmental rights are taken as prior to the capabilities that constitute a “fully human” being because egalitarianism presupposes […]

Any opposition is good opposition

December 7, 2017

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by Jamin Jamieson Any opposition is good opposition Parties with overwhelming majorities in parliament face no formal barriers to enacting party policy. Without opposition partaking a serious role in government, eventually the state and party become unanimous. I do not argue that the unity of party and state is inherently bad. The outcomes of party […]

Why Not Replace Election with Sortition?

December 6, 2017

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by Hoon Hee Lee “The appointment of magistrates by lot is thought to be democratic and the election of them oligarchic.” — Aristotle[1]   It seemed as if the world leaders had finally come to their senses when they ratified the Paris Agreement, before it was all too late to save the drowning polar bears […]

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