, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 273-283
Date: 18 May 2011

Cooperation, competition, and democracy


Rawlsian framework is based on a cooperation model, which takes a democratic society as a cooperation system. Such a conception of democracy not only obscures the distinction between democracy and despotism, but also makes it hard to argue for the superiority of democracy over despotism. This article develops a different model, the competition model, to explain the historical development towards democracy and to justify democracy as a social order superior to despotism. The article argues that once we adopt the competition model to understand democracy, its distinctive characters as well as its merits will fully bear out.