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Explanation: Democracy's claim to be valuable does not rest on just one particular merit. There is a plurality of virtues here, including: first, the intrinsic importance of political participation and freedom in human life, second, the instrumental importance of political incentives in keeping governments responsible and accountable, and third, the constructive role of democracy in the formation of values and in the understanding of needs and rights and duties. In the light of this diagnosis, we may now address the motivating question of this lecture, namely the case for seeing democracy as a universal value.