In this webinar series, Robert Leming, a civic education expert and national director of the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” program at the Center for Civic Education, discusses the core concepts of constitutional democracy in four parts: constitutionalism, representative government, human rights, and citizenship.
Lesson 1: Core Concepts of Democracy (Part One)
In this lesson, Robert Leming defines democracy and examines the core concepts of constitutional government within a democracy. He then discusses constitutionalism, focusing on the rule of law and limited government. He then analyzes the separation of powers and checks and balances in a democratic society, using the United States of America as an example. He concludes by discussing four areas in the context of representative government: popular sovereignty, representation and accountability in government, majority rule and respect for minority rights, and free and fair elections.
Lesson 2: Core Concepts of Democracy (Part Two)
In this lesson, Robert Leming discusses human rights and examines natural rights, positive rights, and negative rights, highlighting some of the rights mentioned in the United States Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He then explores five areas in the context of citizenship: legal qualifications for citizenship, civic engagement and the rights and responsibilities of citizens, civic identity, civic dispositions or virtues, and commitment to a common civic culture.