BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Why we should stop fetishizing democracy

    Ahlstrom-Vij, Kristoffer (2021) Why we should stop fetishizing democracy. Journal of Philosophical Research 46 , pp. 145-154. ISSN 1053-8364.

    46251.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (235kB) | Preview


    Democracy is in trouble, and it is democracy’s own fault—that is Robert Talisse’s intriguing contention is his recent book, Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in its Place (2019). What gets democracy into trouble, according to Talisse, is the idea that a democratic form of government is intrinsically valuable, which in turn entails a deliberative conception of democracy that, in combination with the social-psychological fact of social sorting, leads to rampant polarization. According to Talisse, we therefore need to put democracy in its place by resisting the expansive view of the scope of democracy and making room for non-political spaces of interaction, in which we can form civic friendships. However, in what follows, I argue that what Talisse has actually provided is an excellent reason for rejecting rather than merely mitigating the detrimental effects of the idea that democracy is intrinsically valuable. Specifically, we ought to stop fetishizing democracy and instead embrace an instrumentalist view of democracy as a social practice that is instituted and maintained for a purpose external to itself. Once we do this, democracy no longer needs saving from itself.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 13:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:13


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item