Why is democracy seen as the most just form of rule? How did such a situation come about historically? Is there evidence to show that, all things considered, democracies are indeed the most just form of government known to us? Are there specific civic virtues that help democracies flourish? Is there a particular way in which agreement, dissent, cooperation, and conversation between different groups and individuals in a democratic society are to be carried out? Would democracy be a necessary component of a just system of government?
And would social justice be a necessary component of democratic government? These are some of the questions that the Studio on Democracy and Justice examines. The Studio is built on two central ideas about democracy: a) how best to safeguard democracy against the arbitrary exercise of state power, and b) how best to cultivate the virtue of democratic conversation. The Studio is divided into three taught modules and a fourth project-based module. The three normative statements, "Democracy is the most just form of government", "Rights take precedence over popular will", "Inequality is antithetical to democracy” provoke and drive discussions in the three modules of the Studio.