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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A defense of workplace democracy Malleson, Thomas


A central component of the debates about workplace democracy is the issue of whether workplaces can be said to be binding associations in a parallel sense that states are often said to be binding. In this paper I look at the case for workplace democracy in terms of 'bindingness', particularly as it is expounded by Robert Dahl, and criticized by Robert Mayer. I argue that 'bindingness', or the lack of free choice, does not provide an adequate justification for workplace democracy. Instead I argue that a better justification of democracy stems from a full conception of freedom to self-develop that extends beyond voluntary choice. This fuller notion of freedom, developed in part by the work of Carol Gould, provides the normative force for the extension of democracy beyond the political realm into the workplace, and even beyond into the social and cultural spheres.

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