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Avoid, Talk, or Fight: Alternative Cultural Strategies in the Battle Against Oligarchy in Collectivist-Democratic Organizations

  • Joyce Rothschild
  • Darcy Leach
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

As Rund Koopmans has argued (1995) and as Carole Pateman (1970) argued in her theory classic of three decades ago, Participation and Democratic Theory, the actual face-to-face deliberation and debate that goes on in directly democratic groups may be the best way, maybe even the only way, to develop in people the capacity for democracy and self-governance. To date, we do not have a convincing, empirically based, answer to this question. Leach (2005) however, has recently found that, over the last quarter century, literally hundreds of thousands of people in the German social movement sector have been exposed to collectivist-democratic practices and a significant number of these people have come to expect consensus-based decision-making and collectivist-democratic practices in much of their community life. Are the sensibilities and capacities developed in these voluntary, social movement organizations in the modern Germany having a visibly democratizing effect on the nation as a whole? Could they, if these collectivist organizations were to spread in the United States or anywhere else in the world, be the path to reinvigorating democracy? These are important questions for examination.

Keywords

Personal Attack Democratic Theory Social Movement Organization Hurt Feeling Democratic Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce Rothschild
    • 1
  • Darcy Leach
    • 2
  1. 1.Virginia TechUSA
  2. 2.University of MichiganUSA

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