1) Write on one of the topics you addressed in the group presentation. If you choose this option, you should expand/deepen the original presentation in light of our class discussion, my comments on your presentation, and your rereading of the assigned materials. In writing on this topic, you should make reference to the Winner-Take-All Politics by Hacker and Pierson and at least two other texts assigned for this course.
We presented chapter 8 and the easiest topic on it is woman participation, also during class the issue was brought up. He wants us to compare the chapter with thinkers that were discussed in class, and the one that talks about woman in politics is alexis de toqueville on his book democracy in america. Maybe a nice paper will be on that since his critique to our presentation was the following:
Your group is getting 88 out of 96 for the presentation.
You make some valid connections between the chapter and the theoretical literature, but they all remain inchoate.
It is true that today’s US democracy is not so deliberative, but it is not an interesting observation. More interesting questions are: how can the normative model of deliberative democracy illuminate the defects of US democracy today (which is more or less based on the liberal model of democracy)? In what way, can deliberative democracy deal with the problem of the Winner-Take-All politics? etc. This may be an interesting topic for your paper.
As for AT’s point that the division of labor leads to the emergence of the aristocratic class, this may be the case with today’s US. However, today’s US elite is different from previous the aristocratic class idealized by AT and Mill in that they use their leisure, not to cultivate superior intellectual, moral, or aesthetic capacity, but to pursue further their material goods. In other words, the elite shares the exactly same characteristics AT attributes to the masses: excessive individualism, crass materialism, etc. They are the elite in terms of economic and political power, but seems to belong to the same democratic culture as the democratic masses do.
The topic of women in the Winner-Take-All-Politics is potentially an interesting topic, but your presentation does not seem to make any substantial connection with the chapter. How does the Winner-Take-All politics affect the interest of women? How would more participation by women in politics contribute to change?