Democratic equality : an egalitarian defense of political mediation
Constellations, 2019, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 513–524
INNERARITY, Daniel, Democratic equality : an egalitarian defense of political mediation, Constellations, 2019, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 513–524 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/65863
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
There is always a tension at the heart of the theories of democracy between immediacy and construction. We could say that the history of democracy is the succession of moments of mediation and moments of disintermediation, that there is democratic construction as well as democratic disorder. Disintermediation is a response to institutionalized exclusion and sclerosis (the Civil Rights Movement is an example). A movement from the outside is needed to disrupt exclusive—but internally egalitarian—institutions. But extra‐institutional politics has a legitimacy problem because it is extra‐institutional, and institutions perform a legitimizing function. Mediation is essential in a democracy because that is how we channel raw, vastly unequal, power. Radically unmediated democracy is hard to differentiate from the rule of the strong and numerous. But, to come full circle, mediation can mediate too much or mediate unjustly, so we need disintermediation to help construct and reform the proper forms of mediation. This leads to a circularity between the two moments, which is not always peaceful and not always virtuous, and a well‐structured political system manifests itself in the fact that it is able to articulate them successfully. How can we know if this articulation improves our democracies? My hypothesis is that it does to the extent to which it allows us to make progress towards the political equality of all citizens.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/65863
Full-text via DOI: 10.1111/1467-8675.12402
Publisher: Wiley Online Library
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