Reconsidering the theoretical preconditions of modern democratic statehood
On mediated unity and overarching legal-political form
in Critical theory and sociological theory
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Mediated unity is introduced as one of the key premises underlying almost all conceptions of modern statehood. The term mediated unity expresses the idea that if there was no way to bridge the metaphorical distance between citizens and the state, representation would be impossible. Within this framework mediation and the possibility of rational representation are intrinsically linked with the presupposition of an underlying unity. The premise is consolidated by the corollary premise that if there was identity or fusion between citizens and the state, representation would be superfluous. Identity between citizens and political authority would make representative institutions redundant. It is shown that although the premise of mediated unity is closely associated with thinkers with an explicitly dialectical position in matters of epistemology and politics, virtually all arguments in support of democratic legitimacy rely on either a strong or weak dialectical argument. Chapter 1 explains what is at stake in the deconstruction of the key concept of mediated unity.

Critical theory and sociological theory

On late modernity and social statehood

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