Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7530

Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Democratic Politics between the Market and the Forum
Authors: Saunders, Ben
Contact Email: ben.saunders@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: common good
democracy
markets
self-interest
voting
Issue Date: Jan-2012
Publisher: Political Studies Association
Citation: Saunders B (2012) Democratic Politics between the Market and the Forum, Political Studies Review, 10 (1), pp. 23-35.
Abstract: Economic analyses of democracy often draw an analogy between democratic procedures and the 'consumer sovereignty' of the marketplace. In contrast, normative ideals of democracy often propose that voters should aim at the common good or justice. It is suggested that there is a fundamental difference between the appropriate norms of the market, in which self-interest is permitted, and those of the political forum, in which self-interest is prohibited. These ideals are apt, however, to invite charges of utopianism. While I accept that morality may sometimes be demanding, my aim in this article is to argue that the appropriate norms of the democratic forum are not as demanding as sometimes suggested; the market/forum contrast is often exaggerated. The market is not a state of nature, so some moral constraints apply even there. More importantly, self-interest is allowed some place in the political arena, at least where justice or the common good is indeterminate. There is no need for agents to set aside their private interests entirely in the political arena. Thus, the ultimate guiding principles of the market and the forum are the same: agents are free to promote their self-interest within the constraints established by justice or the rights of other agents. It may be that these constraints are more restrictive in politics than in the marketplace, but the difference between the two arenas is one of degree rather than kind. Unless we think that even constrained pursuit of self-interest is too demanding, we have no reason to regard these norms as utopian.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7530
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-9302.2011.00242.x
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Philosophy

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
j.1478-9302.2011.00242.x.pdf207.46 kBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 31/12/2999     Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright



Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact library@stir.ac.uk providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.