Richard Vernon, Political Morality: A Theory of Liberal Democracy (London and New York: Continuum, 2001), 202 pp.,

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Book Review.
    Vernon defines liberal democracy in a minimalist fashion, as a regime that meets ‘a certain standard
    of electoral accountability’ while providing its citizens with ‘some level of constitutionally protected
    liberty’ (p. 1). He proceeds to construct what he claims to be a correspondingly minimalist but
    internally consistent philosophical justification for liberal democracy that can survive—or, perhaps
    more accurately, adroitly sidestep—three sorts of familiar critiques. First, Vernon claims that his
    construction is untouched by various criticisms—sociological, psychological, epistemological, ethical—
    of liberalism. Second, it is unaffected by various objections to the substantive content, coherence
    and consistency of arguments for democracy. Third, his construction meets the objection that liberal
    democracy is a ‘paradox or oxymoron’ (p. 7) because its constituent liberal and democratic components
    are mutually inconsistent.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-185
    Number of pages1
    JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
    Volume38
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • politics
    • democracy
    • book review

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