Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 273–283 | Cite as

Cooperation, competition, and democracy

Research Article


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 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Przeworski, A. (1999). “Minimalist Conception of Democracy: A Defense.” In: Ian Shapiro and Casiano Hacker-Cordon (eds.), Democracy’s Value. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Rawls, J. (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia: Columbia University PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Rawls, J. (1999). A Theory of Justice (second edition). Boston: Harvard University PressGoogle Scholar
  4. Rawls, J. (2001). Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. Boston: Harvard University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Philosophy & SociologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations