This article offers an overview of the French political philosopher Claude Lefort's oeuvre, arguing that his work should be read as a normative or even universalist justification of democracy and human rights. The notion of history plays a crucial notion in this enterprise, as Lefort demonstrates that there is an ineluctable 'historical' or 'political' condition of human coexistence, a condition that can only be properly accommodated in a regime of democracy and human rights. This reading of Lefort is contrasted with two other interpretations of his work. The first of these, by Sofia Nasstrom, is shown to overlook the importance of history in Lefort's understanding of democracy. The second, by Bernard Flynn, is shown to overlook the universalist implications of Lefort's theory.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/1474885108089172
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,959
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

From Body to Flesh: Lefort, Merleau-Ponty, and Democratic Indeterminacy.Salih Emre Gerçek - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (4):571-592.
Lefort, Abensour and the Question: What is ‘Savage’ Democracy?Bryan Nelson - 2019 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 45 (7):844-861.
The Wide View of Democracy.Roberto Frega - 2017 - Thesis Eleven 140 (1):3-21.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Democracy, Human Rights and Women's Health.Jalil Safaei - 2012 - Mens Sana Monographs 10 (1):134.
Human Rights and Democracy: India’s Experience.Aynul Haque - 2014 - SOCRATES 2 (JUNE 2014):114- 125.
Human Rights and Global Democracy.Michael Goodhart - 2008 - Ethics and International Affairs 22 (4):395-420.
The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights: An Overview.Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao & Massimo Renzo - 2015 - In Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao & Massimo Renzo (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-44.
Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights.William J. Talbott - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):294-297.
Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights.Kevin Gray - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (4):779-782.
Is Democracy a Human Right?Tom Campbell - 2015 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (1):107-126.
On Goodhart's Global Democracy: A Critique.Eva Erman - 2008 - Ethics and International Affairs 22 (4).
History, Human Rights, and Globalization.Sumner B. Twiss - 2004 - Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (1):39-70.
Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights.Richard A. Jones - 2005 - Teaching Philosophy 28 (2):204-206.


Added to PP index

Total views
40 ( #283,300 of 2,504,831 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,949 of 2,504,831 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes