Katherine Fierlbeck
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Expanding democracy
in Globalizing democracy
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This chapter looks at the 'liberal' nature of democracy. It begins with a brief overview of the historical development of liberalism and liberal democracy, and their contemporary manifestations. 'Identity politics' are the greatest challenge to traditional liberal democratic principles within the contemporary political sphere. Marxism and liberalism have commonly been linked by the critics in the dependence of the two schools upon the assumptions of rationality, neutrality, and inexorable scientific progress. Like feminism, postcolonialism views the assumptions of neutrality within liberalism as inherently biased. The goal of postcolonialism, writes Gyan Prakesh, is 'to force a radical re-thinking and re-formulation of forms of knowledge and social identities authored and authorized by colonialism and western domination'. The chapter examines current philosophical challenges to liberal democracy. It also examines the epistemological debate, and argues that any account of democracy must ultimately rest upon some account of impartiality.

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Globalizing democracy

Power, legitimacy and the interpretation of democratic ideas


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