Can there be nonliberal democracy?

Katherine Fierlbeck

in Globalizing Democracy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780719049958
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701416 | DOI:
Can there be nonliberal democracy?

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This chapter provides critical assessments of the new trends in democratic theory. It argues that any account of democracy grounded upon cultural identity rather than impartiality cannot present a satisfactory account of the containment and diffusion of political power which grounds the moral attractiveness of democracy in the modern global context. It shows that ‘culture’ and ‘identity’ are the concepts which prevent exponents of democracy from seeing the relevant similarities between the discredited communist version of democracy and the contemporary identity-based account of democracy. Moreover, it explores the claim that a ‘secure cultural context’ is a right necessary to protect and enhance the personal identity and sense of self-worth of cultural groups outside the dominant cultural context. Neutrality and universality, and the priority of individual rights, are strongly disputed. Group rights based upon cultural identity are an unsatisfactory foundation upon which to build an account of a ‘nonliberal’ democracy.

Keywords: democratic theory; nonliberal democracy; cultural identity; political power; personal identity; neutrality; universality; individual rights; group rights

Chapter.  12696 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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