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New Perspectives on Liberal Democracy

Democracy
Democratisation
Political Theory
P263
Ludvig Beckman
Stockholm University

Saturday 11:00 - 12:40 (10/09/2016)

Building: Faculty of Arts Floor: 3 Room: FA301

Abstract

This panel critically examines liberal democratic politics from a variety of perspectives and approaches. Thus, Ludvig Beckman’s paper questions an assumption central to liberal democracy, namely that By the democratic vote citizens exercise power over electoral outcomes that in turn determine the composition of legislative and executive bodies. In particular, it is commonly argued that voting rights confer power both to individual voters and to the general body of the electorate. The paper offers a new way of understanding the way in which citizens exercise power over electoral outcomes. The paper by Aviad Heifetz examines different ways, such as those articulated by John Rawls and Simone Weil, of articulating a common ethos in an inherently heterogeneous society. The terms of the former, chiefly concerned with the distribution of primary goods, underwrite much of today’s Western democracies’ political liberalism. The terms of the latter, chiefly concerned with the way interaction is organised in social activities in view of the body and soul’s balancing pairs of needs, are less well known. It then argues that the overlapping consensus in Weil’s notion of political justice is “thicker”, and may thus deserve more attention – alongside that of Rawls – for substantiating a democratic ethos within political liberalism. Brigitte Bargetz’s paper engages with the role of emotions in politics and argues for introducing emotions into political theory, thereby offering new insights in terms of how political power and more explicitly state power operates. . Emphasizing such a sentimental politics, it delineates some (neo-)liberal pitfalls of contemporary affective politics in times of political and economic crises. Furthermore, it shows that and how such an understanding of sentimental politics does not only contest the liberal notion of the political because it dismisses the idea of rational politics. Rather that it also alludes to a new mode of governing, thus enhancing a (neo-)liberal politics through moralization, individualization, and privatization. Proposing the figure of the “sentimental contract”, it aims att providing further insights into the unfinished business of the Western liberal project. Finally, the paper by Manuela Ortega-Ruiz, offers a historical perspective on some of these issues by examining the political ideas and legacy of Marcelino Domingo. According to Domingo, power could only be the will of the majority, likewise source of his concept of justice. Such approach appears coherent with the fact that Domingo, since his first participation in political life, defended democracy as the best system for modern societies.

Title Details
Democracy and power. Legal and causal conceptions of the powers conferred by the right to vote View Paper Details
The Sentimental Contract or: The Unfinished Liberal Project View Paper Details
The will of the majority. The justice in the political thought of Marcelino Domingo View Paper Details