When Democracies Perish Democratically – Then What?

In: Comparative Political Theory
Christof Royer Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education, Central European University, Vienna, Austria,

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This article engages with the recently published volume Wenn Demokratien demokratisch untergehen (Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 2019). This work, which is available in German only, focuses on the danger that democracies perish democratically. Today’s crisis of democracy, so the argument of the volume goes, is that while there are – at least formally – more democracies than ever before, there are forces that erode democracy’s fundamental principles and values from within the democratic space.

The purpose of this essay is to introduce the arguments of leading democratic theorists to a non-German speaking audience, to construct a narrative that brings to the fore the multiple challenges that democratic societies face today, and finally, to warn against a certain anti-progressive habit in democratic and political theory.

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