Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

Emily Beausoleil, Victoria University of Wellington
Jean-Paul Gagnon, University of Canberra

Subjects: Political Theory

Democratic Theory 7(1)

Jean-Paul Gagnon

Research Articles
Against Analogy: Why Analogical Arguments in Support of Workplace Democracy Must Necessarily Fail
Roberto Frega

Comparative Democratic Theory
Alexander Weiss

Neoliberalism, the Left, and the Rise of the Far Right: On the Political and Ideological Implications of Capitalism’s Subordination of Democracy
Costas Panayotakis

Critical Commentary
The Limits of Liberal Democracy: Prospects for Democratizing Democracy
Viviana Asara

Tolerating the Conditionally Tolerant: The Uneasy Case of Salvation Religions
William A. Edmundson

Globalizing the Intellectual History of Democracy
Samuel Moyn and Jean-Paul Gagnon

Book Review
Joseph Lacey, Centripetal Democracy: Democratic Legitimacy and Political Identity in Belgium, Switzerland, and the European Union
Christian Ewert

Volume 7 / 2020, 2 issues per volume (summer, winter)

Aims & Scope

Democratic Theory is a peer-reviewed journal published and distributed by Berghahn. It encourages philosophical and interdisciplinary contributions that critically explore democratic theory—in all its forms. Spanning a range of views, the journal offers a cross-disciplinary forum for diverse theoretical questions to be put forward and systematically examined. It advances non-Western as well as Western ideas and is actively based on the premise that there are many forms of democracies and many types of democrats.

As a forum for debate, the journal challenges theorists to ask and answer the perennial questions that plague the field of democratization studies:

  • Why is democracy so prominent in the world today?
  • What is the meaning of democracy?
  • Will democracy continue to expand?
  • Are current forms of democracy sufficient to give voice to “the people” in an increasingly fragmented and divided world?
  • Who leads in democracy?
  • What types of non-Western democratic theories are there?
  • Should democrats always defend democracy?
  • Should democrats be fearful of de-democratization, post-democracies, and the rise of hybridized regimes?  

For too long, the discourse of democracy has been colonized and predetermined by the West. Now more than ever there is a need to globalize—and by extension democratize—how we think about democracy: Democratic Theory provides the means for these essential debates to germinate and develop.

Democratic Theory is now ranked in the Australian Political Studies Association's 2016 Preferred Journal List.


Democratic Theory is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Scopus (Elsevier)
  • IBR – International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter) 
  • IBZ – International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (De Gruyter)
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • Australian Political Studies Association's Preferred Journal List

Emily Beausoleil, Victoria University of Wellington
Jean-Paul Gagnon, University of Canberra

Associate Editor
Selen A. Ercan, University of Canberra

Book Review Editor
Afsoun Asahi, University of Amsterdam

Editorial Assistants:
Octavia Bryant, Australian Catholic University
Tezcan Gumus, Deakin University

Andre Baechtiger, University of Stuttgart
Simone Chambers, University of Toronto
John Dryzek, University of Canberra
John Dunn, King’s College, Cambridge University
Robyn Eckersley, University of Melbourne
Henry A. Giroux, McMaster University
Kimmo Gronlund, Abo Akademi
Baogang He, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Ramin Jahanbegloo, York University
John Keane, University of Sydney
Sungmoon Kim, City University of Hong Kong
Adrian Little, University of Melbourne
Brian Loader, Oxford University
Nancy S. Love, Appalachian State University
Michael Saward, Warwick University
Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University
Lawrence Whitehead, Oxford University

Hans Asenbaum, Potsdam University
Jeffrey Berejikian, University of Georgia
Udit Bhatia, Oxford University
Dan Bray, La Trobe University
Frank Cunningham, Emeritus, University of Toronto
Nicole Curato, University of Canberra
Rikki Dean, Goethe University
Stephen Elstub, University of the West of Scotland
Lina Eriksson, Flinders University
Eva Erman, Uppsala University
Katherine Fierlbeck, Dalhousie University
Dannica Fleuss, Helmut Schmidt Universitat
Edmund Fung, University of Western Sydney
Benjamin Isakhan, Deakin University
Pauline Keating, Victoria University of Wellington
Sonny Lo, Hong Kong Institute of Education
Spencer MacKay, University of British Columbia
Kyong-Min, University of Delaware
Philip A. Michelbach, West Virginia University
Alfred Moore, University of York
Sana Nakata, University of Melbourne
Giovanni Navaria, University of Sydney
Aleksandar Pavkovic, Macquarie University
Thamy Pogrebinschi, Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin (WZB)
Peter Radan, Macquarie University
Jemima Repo, University of Helsinki
Steven Rosow, SUNY Oswego
Marian Sawer, Emeritus, Australian National University
Irwin P. Stotzky, University of Miami
Bernhard Wessels, Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin (WZB)
Jonathan P. White, London School of Economics
Steven L. Winter, Wayne State University
Lea Ypi, London School of Economics

Founding Editors:
Mark Chou, Australian Catholic University
Jean-Paul Gagnon, University of Canberra

In Kind Thanks and Memoriam
L.H.M. Ling, The New School
David Held, Durham University


Manuscript Submission

Please review the submission and style guidelines carefully before submitting.

The editors welcome contributions for publication in the journal.

After registering a user account or logging into the system, authors should submit articles and reviews to the Democratic Theory submission system at

Democratic Theory welcomes submissions under any of the five categories of contributions:

1. Research articles of between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length, inclusive of references
2. Excerpts of interviews of no more than 5,000 words in length, conducted with leading democratic theorists
3. Critical commentaries and debates of no more than 3,000 words in length, relating to pressing contemporary issues or themes raised in previous issues
4. Review essays of between 4,000 and 5,000 words in length, engaging the latest scholarly and popular works in democratic theory
5. Research notes of no more than 5,000 words in length, presenting a vital theory, conception, model, or practice of democracy (can be historical).

Each submission must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words, 6 keywords ordered alphabetically, and a biographical sketch indicating each author's institutional affiliation, research interests, and important activities and publications. Clearly note contact details (including e-mail and mailing address) up to the planned date of publication.

View Guest Editor Guidelines here.

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines, including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.

Peer Review

Democratic Theory is operated through a three-stage review process:

1. All submissions will be read by both editors. This initial review will assess whether the submission is of sufficient quality and relevance to send out for blind peer review.

2. Should the editors deem the submission of sufficient quality and relevance, they will then send it out for formal peer review. At this stage, each submission will be sent to at least two qualified scholars, who will be comprised of members of the steering committee, editorial board, or external experts should this be required.

3. Once the reviews have been returned, the editors will then determine whether the submission can be (a) published without corrections; (b) published with minor corrections; (c) revised and resubmitted; or (d) rejected. Submissions that fall into category (b) will be given up to four weeks to finalize revisions. Submissions that fall into category (c) will be given up to eight weeks to finalize revisions. They will then be resubmitted to at least one of the original blind referees and both Editors. A final decision will be made two weeks after this final submission takes place.

Ethics Statement

Authors published in Democratic Theory certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews, and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make it clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete Democratic Theory ethics statement.

Annual Subscriptions

Volume 7/2020, 2 issues p.a. (summer, winter) 
2332-8894 (Print) • ISSN 2332-8908 (Online) 
(rates include handling & surface postage)

Subscribe/Renew Now
» Print+Online
Online Only
Free Sample Issue
Recommend to Your Library

2020 Pricing

Institutional Rate (Print & Online)
$278.00 / £178.00 / €216.00

Institutional Rate (Online Only)
$250.00 / £160.00 / €195.00

Individual Rate (Online Only)
$34.95 / £22.95 / €30.00

Student Rate (Online Only)
$19.95 / £13.95 / €15.95* 

*must include valid student ID

Print & Online for individual subscriptions are available. Please contact Turpin for pricing.

Single issues:
Contact Turpin for pricing and availability.

To subscribe, please click on the links above or contact Turpin Distributors.


For UK/Europe: 
Berghahn Journals, Ltd 
c/o Turpin Distribution 
Pegasus Drive, Stratton Business Park 
Biggleswade, Beds. SG18 8TQ, UK 
Tel: +44(0)1767 604 951 
Fax: +44 (0)1767 601 640

For US/Rest of World
Berghahn Journals, Inc 
c/o Turpin North America 
143 West Street 
New Milford, CT 06776, USA 
Tel: (860) 350-0041 
Fax: (860) 350-0039

Don't have a subscription? Find other ways to access the journal here, or recommend the journal to your library.