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How Come a Liberal Still Believes in Democracy? A Riddle of Politics and Faith

Krešimir Petković orcid id ; Fakultet političkih znanosti Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 213 Kb

str. 231-249

preuzimanja: 405



This critical essay deals with the book Can Democracy Work? by James Miller, which, warning of the problems of democratic politics, retains democratic faith. By combining political science and historiography, and intertwining the history of ideas with political biography in portraying different episodes in the history of democracy, the book seeks to give insight into the riddle of democracy. This riddle is exhibited in various theoretical and practical tensions: between the Rousseauian demand for sovereignty of the people and the general will on the one hand, and the Platonistic epistemic skepticism about the ability of the people to decide and the political demands of liberalism on the other; between the need to control the rulers and the political-economic dynamics of corruption and clientelism incited by democratic politics; between rebellion against the elites as a species of functional political hygiene in a polity, and uncertainty of outcomes brought by the inherent instability of democracy and its aptitude to excess; and between the seeming inevitability of elections and their cooptational trap. Between the liberalism of fear a la Judith Shklar and the thrills of populism a la Chantal Mouffe, the author retains democratic faith – a political version of Kierkegaardian existentialism which goes beyond the undecided, forever doubting reflection and a political good that is shared with others, in spite of the uncertainties of public opinion and the ascertained questionability of civic virtue in the open field of the political in history.

Ključne riječi

democracy, liberalism, riddle, genealogy, populism, public opinion

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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