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Sceptical Democracy

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Abstract

Social injustice thrives where liberal democracy is weakest.1 Any study of social injustice therefore requires a closer analysis of the fabric of liberal democracy. This chapter explores the relationship between liberal democracy and scepticism. I argue that the biggest threats to democracy, and the chief perpetrators of injustice, come from two opposing extremes: from those who believe in the certainty of their beliefs (totalitarianism), and those who deny the existence of any truth (nihilism). Between these two polarities we find liberal democracy. In the second part of this chapter I argue that if democracy has managed to occupy this space, it is in no small part due to a concept that is pivotal to a correct understanding of liberal democracy: scepticism. It is regrettable that for many sympathizers of liberal democracy, scepticism is a dirty word. The aim of this paper is to suggest that the rehabilitation of scepticism is long overdue. If democracy is going to defend itself from antidemocratic threats, it is imperative for democratic theory to embrace a political definition of scepticism.

Keywords

  • Political Participation
  • Liberal Democracy
  • Social Injustice
  • Correct Understanding
  • Democratic Theory

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/9780230358447_9
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© 2012 Vittorio Bufacchi

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Bufacchi, V. (2012). Sceptical Democracy. In: Social Injustice. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230358447_9

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