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Conceptual History and Politics

Is the Concept of Democracy Essentially Contested?

Oliver Hidalgo

This article surveys the history of the concept of democracy from Ancient times to the present. According to the author, the conceptual history of democracy shows that the overwhelming success of the concept is most of all due to its ability to subsume very different historical ideas and realities under its semantic field. Moreover, the historical evolution of the concept reveals that no unequivocal definition is possible because of the significant paradoxes, aporias, and contradictions it contains. These are popular sovereignty vs. representation, quality vs. quantity, liberty vs. equality, individual vs. collective, and, finally, the synchronicity between similarities and dissimilarities. The ubiquitous usage of democracy in present-day political language makes it impossible to speak of it from an external perspective. Thus, both democratic theory and practice are suffused with empirical and normative elements.

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Deliberative Democracy

Taking Stock and Looking Ahead - Selen A. Ercan with André Bächtiger

Selen A. Ercan and André Bächtiger

Deliberative democracy is a growing branch of democratic theory. It suggests understanding and assessing democracy in terms of the quality of communication among citizens, politicians, as well as between citizens and politicians. In this interview, drawing on his extensive research on deliberative practice within and beyond parliaments, André Bächtiger reflects on the development of the field over the last two decades, the relationship between normative theory and empirical research, and the prospects for practicing deliberation in populist times.

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The Deliberative Potential of Facultative Referendums

Procedure and Substance in Direct Democracy

Alice el-Wakil

Still Enjoy an Epistemic Dimension? The Impact of Normative Theory on Empirical Research. ” Communication Theory 16 ( 4 ): 411 – 426 . Hug , Simon . 2008 . “ Some Thoughts about Referendums, Representative Democracy, and Separation of Powers

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Roberto Farneti

polarization as the normative cause of a normative problem. I will continue this line of analysis and open up the discussion on democratic regress to insights from normative theories. Then I will find a theoretical perspective on polarization and democracy

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Nancy S. Love, Sanford F. Schram, Anthony J. Langlois, Luis Cabrera, and Carol C. Gould

scene, Gould works systematically to build the architecture for her normative theory of the relationship of global social justice to democracy. She begins by explaining what she means by the “human rights approach” to global justice. The human rights

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Against Analogy

Why Analogical Arguments in Support of Workplace Democracy Must Necessarily Fail

Roberto Frega

arrangement to another. However, the use of analogical arguments for justificatory purposes incurs into major difficulties of all sorts. Indeed, the fact that “we have no substantive normative theory of analogical arguments” ( Bartha, 2010, 3 ) explains why