Title

What Do We Mean by Democracy? Reflections on an Essentially Contested Concept and Its Relationship to Politics and Public Administration

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-24-2018

Publication Title

Administration & Society

Abstract

This article argues that democracy is an essentially contested concept in that its meaning and applications appear to be subject to endless contestation, but that the origins of such contestation are to be found in our political practices rather than in the concept per se. It is also argued that the idea of contestation itself is an important part of our own historically situated understanding of democracy. The implications of these arguments for how public administration scholars should think about democracy and constitutionalism are examined.

DOI

10.1177/0095399718786881

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