Conclusion: The Constitutive Failure of Democracy

Adrian Little

in Democratic Piety

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780748633654
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652709 | DOI:
Conclusion: The Constitutive Failure of Democracy

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This chapter addresses the implications for democratic politics of a perspective informed by complexity theory and post-structuralist accounts of conflict and violence. It draws together the arguments and insights identified in the earlier chapters and outlines their implications for democratic politics, in particular for an understanding of democracy that reflects its limitations and inadequacies. The argument points to the limitations of the democratic vocabulary that prevails in political theory and the problems which are engendered in the application of this language to real political conflicts. It also argues that many democratic theories which have tried to grapple with ‘democratic deficit’, such as deliberative democracy, make unrealistic demands of political actors that involve them either relinquishing deeply held political convictions or abstracting these actors from the political context in which they work.

Keywords: democratic politics; complexity theory; post-structuralist; political theory; democratic vocabulary; democratic deficit; deliberative democracy

Chapter.  6226 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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