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Equality-based comparison how to justify democratic institutions in the Real World

  • Political scientists regularly justify particular democratic institutions. This article explores two desiderata for such justifications. The first is a formal equality baseline which puts the burden of justification on those who favour more unequal institutions. This baseline is seen as an implication of the rule of law. The second desideratum, the comparison requirement, builds on the first: adequate justifications of particular institutions must compare them to the best alternative, and this comparison must consider the costs for political equality. The two desiderata are applied to political science debates about the proportionality of the electoral system and bicameral systems of legislative decision-making.

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Author:Steffen GanghofORCiDGND
ISSN:0263-3957 (print)
Parent Title (English):Politics
Place of publication:Hoboken
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:electoral systems; institutional design; political equality; public justification; second chambers
First Page:101
Last Page:111
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert