Katherine Fierlbeck
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Can there be nonliberal democracy?
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A nonliberal democracy differs from a liberal democracy in the assertion that the claims of neutrality, objectivity, and equality valued so deeply by liberal democrats are in practice means of marginalizing and devaluing nondominant cultures. Many group-rights theorists argue for group rights on the basis of liberal acceptance of self-determination. The reason that neutrality is seen as a manifestly 'liberal' value is, according to Brian Barry, because the critics of liberalism tend to conflate 'second-order' and 'first-order' conceptions of appropriate behaviour. This chapter argues that 'culture' and 'identity' are the concepts which prevent exponents of democracy from seeing the relevant similarities between the discredited communist version of democracy and the contemporary identity-based account of democracy. Political systems based upon cultural identity are structured very clearly upon the vital importance of the distinction between 'us' and 'them'.

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Globalizing democracy

Power, legitimacy and the interpretation of democratic ideas


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