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"Democracy as Consumption," with Professor Dan Ortiz

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Published on Oct 1, 2013

University of Virginia law professor Dan Ortiz delivers a chair lecture in which he focuses on citizens as consumers, rather than people who make choices that the political system is designed to aggregate with other citizens' choices and carry out.

In Ortiz's consumer view, actors other than the citizenry and their elected representatives produce packages of policies which citizens choose among. Far from being the central player whose views the rest of the system seeks to implement, citizens become more passive and peripheral.

Ortiz argues that this consumer view is inevitable in any mass democracy. He also demonstrates how the consumer view plays out and how it sometimes conflicts with the traditional view by using contemporary debates in American election law as examples.

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