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The Limits of Liberal Democracy

Prospects for Democratizing Democracy

Viviana Asara

aggrandizement” of welfare capitalist democracy ( Lessenich 2019, 122 ) is not sufficient to grasp not only, as Lessenich convincingly argues, its structural boundaries, but also, as I argue here, the structural limits inherent in liberal democracy, the model

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Nagas as a ‘Society against Voting?’

Consensus-Building, Party-less Politics and a Culturalist Critique of Elections in Northeast India

Jelle J. P. Wouters

-republican’ ( Kumar 2005: 12 ), even as the very ‘symbol of the republic’ ( Singh 2004: 12 ). This home-grown ‘Naga democracy’, the argument goes, became ruptured and shattered by the arrival of formal, liberal democracy. Udayon Misra (1987: 2193) wrote, ‘Nagas

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Brent E. Sasley

like in practice via a discussion of three major concepts in Political Science—the state, democracy, and liberal democracy. None of these are particular to the Israeli context, but they all form a critical basis for thinking about Israel and comparing

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Palmer and Furet

A Reassessment of The Age of the Democratic Revolution

Marvin R. Cox

The article argues that Robert R. Palmer's venerable, neglected study of the Atlantic Democratic Revolution offers a means for transcending misconceptions in the now canonical writings of François Furet. First, Furet conceived of the French Revolution as a purely politico-cultural phenomenon. Palmer, by relying on Tocqueville and rejecting Marxist postulates, shows that it was a non-capitalist bourgeois revolution. A second, and more important, argument is that Palmer's case for the place of the French Revolution in the history of liberal democracy is stronger than Furet's. Furet maintains that in France a viable democratic regime became possible only when leaders of the Third Republic repudiated the Revolution and its legacy. Palmer demonstrates that the first French Republic set precedents for the Third, and for liberal democracy throughout Europe, by surviving for eight years against anti-democratic forces and by serving in its last years as a school of democratic politics.

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Peter Hudson

This article compares and contrasts liberal democracy and national democracy. It attempts this by focusing on each of these as specific state forms with an effectivity or 'tilt' of their own which includes a determinate preconstruction of the category of the People. It is argued, inter alia, that internal to national democracy is a conception of colonialism (and anti-colonialism) and that the national-racial reference is thus internal to the national democratic conception of equality. In conclusion it is proposed that the tilt of a state form is expressed via the distinction of grammatical mood between the imperative and the subjunctive and that the 1994 South African Constitution, when read in this way, is more liberal democratic than national democratic.

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Tenuous Belonging

Citizenship and Democracy in Mozambique

Jason Sumich

This article examines changing ideas of who constitutes a 'deserving' and 'full' citizen in Mozambique, from independence in 1975 to the present. I argue that the leadership of the ruling Frelimo Party attempted to occupy a position above society where it could determine the practices and behaviors that made one a loyal citizen and, conversely, those that made one an 'alien' or enemy. The adoption of liberal democracy in 1990 undermined the party's right to define what a 'true' or 'good' Mozambican is, but not the underlying structural grammar. Thus, the meaning of citizenship is increasingly a floating signifier. To be designated an 'outsider' is to be an enemy, but it is no longer clear who has the power to define who is a 'true' Mozambican and who is not.

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From Schmitt to Foucault

Inquiring the Relationship between Exception and Democracy

Sara Raimondi

Current academic debates and empirical evidence unveil an alarming portrait of the status of contemporary politics. Increasingly, we find ourselves entrapped in a variety of emergency measures that creep into the life of our liberal democracies, be

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The Making of a Fundamental Value

A History of the Concept of Separation of Church and State in the Netherlands

Mart Rutjes

The separation of church and state is nowadays widely believed to be a fundamental aspect of modern liberal democracy. This is certainly the case in the Netherlands, where, in fact, over the past decade, several scholars have noted that the notion

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William L. McBride

From the very beginning of his explicitly political thinking until the end of his life, Jean-Paul Sartre was always cognizant of the fact that the typical electoral system, whether dominated by two or by several "parties," that is to be found in Western countries and that is vaunted as the pinnacle of real democracy amounted to a profound mystification. That is why, at the time of the centenary of his birth, he is owed a renewed respect for his ideas in this area. I do not intend to examine here the evolution of Sartre?s political thought, or even his views with respect to the Eastern European countries, the "socialism" of which, as he eventually discovered, was scarcely more real than their "democracy." Rather, I shall confine myself to recalling certain elements, especially certain iconoclastic elements, of that thought. I shall do so with a view to taking a clear-headed look at a possible future in which those icons will have disappeared.

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Neoliberalism, the Left and the Rise of the Far Right

On the Political and Ideological Implications of Capitalism's Subordination of Democracy

Costas Panayotakis

Rogers 2011: 13-15 ). Capitalism's defining principles imply that, despite liberal democracy's foundation upon freedom of speech and assembly, the presence of free and competitive elections, and so on ( Hawkesworth 2002: 298 , Haerpfer 2009: 314