Understanding the Crisis of Liberal Democracy and Rethinking Democratic Politics

  • Alen Toplišek
Part of the The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy book series (PSTCD)


This chapter introduces the reader to the 1970s crisis of governability debate and shows that the current crisis has already been preceded by previous debates on the crisis of democracy in the West. The author then proposes to examine the dominant conceptions of democratic politics in the academic literature and concludes that the existing democratic theories do not provide a sufficient explanation for the contemporary crisis of liberal democracy. This is because these accounts are still circumscribed by liberal rationalism and a depoliticised view of democratic politics and thus fail to grasp the growing tension between liberalism and democracy. The author argues that a structural and historical analysis of how liberalism has impacted the democratic role of the state is needed in order to better comprehend the inability of contemporary neoliberal governments to respond to the post-2011 wave of repoliticisations in the West.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alen Toplišek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and International StudiesSOAS University of LondonLondonUK

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