Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 273–283

Cooperation, competition, and democracy

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11466-011-0138-2

Cite this article as:
Li, S. Front. Philos. China (2011) 6: 273. doi:10.1007/s11466-011-0138-2


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.


cooperation competition neutrality liberties 

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Philosophy & SociologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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