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Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)
Professor Shapiro transitions today to the third and final section of the course, an in-depth look at democracy and its institutions. According to him, democracy is the most successful at delivering on the mature Enlightenment's twin promises to recognize individual rights as the ultimate political good and to base politics on some kind of commitment to objective knowledge. And interestingly, democracy as a tradition was not made famous by its champions, but rather by its critics. Today, Professor Shapiro guides the class through the writings of Plato, Tocqueville, Madison, and Dahl. He zeroes in specifically on American democracy and such concepts as tyranny of the majority, factionalism, and checks and balances.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction and Last Class Recap
02:39 - Chapter 2. Democracy and Fear of Majority Tyranny
16:19 - Chapter 3. Madison and the Constitution: Majority Tyranny and Factions
38:03 - Chapter 4. Veto Points
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.