All forms of democracy require some kind of communication so people can be aware of issues and make decisions. This course looks at competing visions of what democracy should be and different notions of the role of dialogue in a democracy. Is it just campaigning or does it include deliberation? Small scale discussions or sound bites on television? Or social media? What is the role of technology in changing our democratic practices, to mobilize, to persuade, to solve public problems? This course will include readings from political theory about democratic ideals - from the American founders to J.S. Mill and the Progressives to Joseph Schumpeter and modern writers skeptical of the public will. It will also include contemporary examinations of the media and the internet to see how those practices are changing and how the ideals can or cannot be realized.