By Seyla Benhabib

The worldwide pattern towards democratization of the final 20 years has been followed by way of the resurgence of varied politics of "identity/difference." From nationalist and ethnic revivals within the international locations of east and significant Europe to the previous Soviet Union, to the politics of cultural separatism in Canada, and to social flow politics in liberal western-democracies, the negotiation of identity/difference has develop into a problem to democracies all over the place. This quantity brings jointly a bunch of unusual thinkers who rearticulate and reassess the principles of democratic idea and perform within the mild of the politics of identity/difference. partly One Jurgen Habermas, Sheldon S. Wolin, Jane Mansbridge, Seyla Benhabib, Joshua Cohen, and Iris Marion younger write on democratic thought. half Two--on equality, distinction, and public representation--contains essays through Anne Phillips, Will Kymlicka, Carol C. Gould, Jean L. Cohen, and Nancy Fraser; and half Three--on tradition, identification, and democracy--by Chantal Mouffe, Bonnie Honig, Fred Dallmayr, Joan B. Landes, and Carlos A. Forment. within the final part Richard Rorty, Robert A. Dahl, Amy Gutmann, and Benjamin R. Barber write on even if democracy wishes philosophical foundations.

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According to the republican view, the citizens' political opinion- and willformation forms the medium through which society constitutes itself as a political whole. Society is, from the very start, political society-societas civilis. Hence democracy becomes equivalent to the political self-organization of society as a whole. This leads to a polemic understanding of politics directed against the state apparatus. In Hannah Arendt's political writings one can see where republican argumentation directs its salvos: in opposition to the privatism of a depoliticized population and in opposition to the acquisition oflegitimation through entrenched parties, the public sphere should be revitalized to the point where a regenerated citizenry can, in the forms of a decentralized self-governance, (once again) appropriate the power of pseudo-independent j0RGEN HABERMAS 27 state agencies.

V The democracy we are familiar with is constitutionalized democracy, democracy indistinguishable from its constitutional form. Its modem ideological justification can be found in Harrington, the English republicans, The Federalist, and Tocqueville. Each was a critic of democracy. Each records a reaction to revolution, although not a reactionary reaction. Each of their constitutions is constructed against democracy; while each seeks to repress democracy none seeks to suppress it. It is to be given a "place," as the American framers did in the House of Representatives, otherwise the legitimacy allegedly bestowed by "the sovereign people" would lack all credibility.

Peter Euben,John R. , Athenian Political Thought and the Reconstruction of American Democracy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994). 2. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. Michael Oakeshott (Oxford: Blackwell, 1946), 83. 3. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (Harmondswonh: Penguin, 1970), esp. 137££. 4. For a fuller discussion, see my "Democracy, Difference, and Re-Cognition," Political Theory 21 (1993): 464-83. 5. The concept oftechne will be treated at full length in John Wallachs fonhcoming The Platonic Political Art.

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