That is to say, a democracy is more legitimate to the extent that it includes in its decision-making process as many different voices and perspectives as possible.

The whole point of this research paper is to get you thinking critically about what factors in society we need to focus on in order to improve democracy in the United States. Bottom line, this paper is fundamentally about democracy, which, as you will learn in this class, is a particular type of political system that gives ultimate authority to its citizens to determine who their leaders will be and what kinds of policies will govern over them. But no democracy, including ours, is ever perfect and it is accordingly our responsibility to be thinking about what adjustments we can make (or should be focusing on) in order to ensure that the process of political decision-making is a function of the overall public’s concerns and needs as opposed to just some elite group or faction in society. That is to say, a democracy is more legitimate to the extent that it includes in its decision-making process as many different voices and perspectives as possible. Conversely, to the extent that a nation-state excludes or hinders the input of any particular group in society then we can safely say that this country is decidedly less democratic because it is undermining the basic principle of inclusion that is indispensable for being classified as a legitimate democracy.

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