Philosophy and Social Criticism 46 (5):472-486 (2020)

Three recently published reports show to what extent democracy is losing ground in a global context increasingly characterized by authoritarianism and populism. The argument this articles proposes is that the deplorable state of democracies around the world is due to the neglect of substantial characteristics and sources of democracy, which are above all trust and solidarity. Democracy has three different, but interrelated sources that are built upon each other according to a lexical order. A democracy is first based upon political rights, there is in an inherent liberal component to democracy. Second, a democracy requires trust among citizens and individuals that only some form of common identity is going to produce. Third, democracy is based upon strong forms of equality that are brought about by solidarity. The article comes to following conclusions: First, as the experience of Islamophobia and racism in Europe and authoritarianism in the Arab world shows, the concepts of illiberal democracy or majoritarianism currently promoted by strongmen around the globe do not stand for proper democratic political systems. Second, in our plural societies, neither thick nationalism nor strong multiculturalism does support the development of the democratic spirit. Third, Republicanism in Rousseau’s tradition is right that inequalities are the main cause undermining full democracies. A democracy requires the solidarity of the welfare state.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453720921975
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Liberal Nationalism.Yael Tamir - 1995 - Princeton University Press.

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