Liberal Democracy as Equal Political Voice

Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

in Understanding Liberal Democracy

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558957
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744808 | DOI:
Liberal Democracy as Equal Political Voice

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This essay moves beyond critique of public reason liberalism to propose an alternative interpretation of the governing idea of liberal democracy. At the heart of that idea is a commitment to not public reason, as Rawls understands that, but to the equal right of citizens to full political voice – this voice to be exercised within an explicit or implicit constitution that imposes limits and guarantees on government, and within a legal order that protects citizens against impairment of their right to full political voice by their fellow citizens. The resulting position is the equal political voice interpretation of liberal democracy.

Keywords: constitutional limits; declaration of Independence; duty of civility; equal voice; governing idea of liberal democracy; justificatory liberalism; Kant; idealization; moral demand argument; perfectionism; public reason liberalism; protectionism; Rawls; John; reasonable

Chapter.  12786 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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