Democracy to Come: Politics as Relational Praxis

Democracy to Come: Politics as Relational Praxis

by Fred Dallmayr


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In this book Fred Dallmayr lays the groundwork for a new understanding of democracy. He argues that democracy is not a stable system anchored in a manifest authority (like monarchy), but is sustained by the recessed and purely potential rule of the "people". Hence, democracy has to constantly reinvent itself, resembling theologically a creatio continua. Like one of Calder's mobiles, democracy for him involves three basic elements that must be balanced constantly: the people, political leaders, and policy goals. Where this balance is disrupted, democracy derails into populism, Bonapartism, or messianism. Given this need for balance, democratic politics is basically a "relational praxis."

In our globalizing age, democracy cannot be confined domestically. Dallmayr rejects the idea that it can be autocratically imposed abroad through forced regime change, or that the dominant Western model can simply be transferred elsewhere. In this respect, he challenges the equation of democracy with the pursuit of individual or collective self-interest, insisting that other, more ethical conceptions are possible and that different societies should nurture democracy with their own cultural resources. Providing examples, he discusses efforts to build democracy in the Middle East, China, and India (respectively with Islamic, Confucian and Hindu resources). In the end, Dallmayr's hope is for a "democracy to come", that is, a cosmopolitan community governed not by hegemonic force but by the spirit of equality and mutual respect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190670979
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/17/2017
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Fred Dallmayr is the Packey J. Dee Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Notre Dame University. He is the author of thirty books and editor of eighteen books, including (most recently) Integral Pluralism (Kentucky, 2010), Return to Nature (Kentucky, 2011), Border Crossings (Lexington, 2013), and Being in the World (Kentucky, 2013).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Whither Democracy?
1."Rule of, by, and for the People: For an Apophatic Democracy?"
2. "Confronting Democracy's Many Foes: Todorov's Mellow Humanism"
3. "Democracy and Liberation: A Tribute to Enrique Dussel"
4. "No Spring but Many Seasons: Al-Jabri on Islamic Democracy"
5. "The Prospect of Confucian Democracy: Some Asian Constitutional Debates"
6. "Gandhi for Today: Self-Rule, Non-Violence, Struggle for Justice"
7. "Political Theology in a New Key: Democracy as Creatio Continua"

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