Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. William A. Ritchie

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Isaak

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Kaufman

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study utilizes contemporary and classical literature to illuminate the complexities of Western democracy. Of specific focus is American democracy and the effects that capitalism has had upon democracy in America. The achievement of democracy on the scale of the modern nation-state appears problematic even without the adversarial burdens posed by a capitalist economic consort. It emerges that American democracy is particularly compromised by its roots in liberal tradition. Forced by nature to depend upon the allocative abilities of its economic consort, democracy must endure a relationship that dramatically undermines its ideological orientation. Although American democracy is not yet in crisis, there is little doubt about the inevitability of crisis as democratic practice is increasingly sabotaged by capitalism. For democracy to prosper, capitalism must be the servant and not the master of democratic society.