Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2006


The elective branches get most of the attention when we think about democracy. But it's important to remember that one of the things that a democratic government provides is a number of structures by which disputes may be resolved peacefully. Indeed, voting itself is one way of resolving conflict at a societal level. In the United States, courts historically have been the starting point for the resolution of individual, and sometimes social, disputes. Courts would seem to exude a great deal of democratic legitimacy, but why, and under what conditions? And what about other methods of dispute resolution: How do they relate to democratic governance, if at all?



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