Repressed Democracy: Legitimacy Problems in World Society

Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofía Política 1 (1) (2012)
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Democracy seems to be no longer self-evident. Colin Crouch and others describe a growing sense of alienation in politics: democratic institutions and procedures may be working properly, yet they themselves promote non-democratic values such technocracy, oligarchy, elitism. For the citizens, only an illusion of democracy persists. The article argues that the weakening of democracy in practice mirrors the vanishing of democracy in political theory and philosophy. We may face a crisis of democratic politics as a result of a crisis of democratic theory. Predominant theories of democracy fail, for the most part, to adequately reflect the changing social conditions in democratic societies and to offer a conception of democratic politics that would address current legitimacy deficits. The article discusses prominent theoretical approaches and points out that all have difficulties conceptualizing possible resources for democratization adequate to contemporary issues and conditions. A new version of political theory is outlined and defended, such that builds upon a redefined notion of democratic sovereignty and communicative power, complex enough to reflect the sociological reality of today’s politics and to reach beyond the institutionalized and formalized setting of democracy.



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Knowledge and human interests.Jürgen Habermas - 1971 - London [etc.]: Heinemann Educational.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Philosophy and Real Politics.Raymond Geuss - 2008 - Princeton University Press.

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