Recent studies on democracy often emphasize a paradox: as the
number of democracies in the world continues to rise (from 39 in 1974 to 90
in 2008), citizens' satisfaction for "actual democracies" has been decreasing.
In order to make sense of this apparent contradiction one must distinguish between
different concepts of democracy. "Liberal" democracy is based on the assumption
that there exist identities that were shaped before the initiation of the democratic
process and that the latter's only goal is to safeguard such identities' free
interplay. "Participatory" democracy also assumes the existence of collective
interests that are external to the democratic system, but it acknowledges conflict
and promotes forms of citizen involvement that go beyond voting. On the other
hand, "deliberative" democracy, in its many variants, focuses on how preferences
are formed within democratic institutions: democracy does not coincide with
the principle according to which the majority prevails over the minority, but
rather aims to provide opportunities for discussion and changing one's mind,
or at the very least acknowledge the legitimacy of others' opinions, in public
Donatella della Porta teaches Sociology at the European University Institute in Florence.
I. Democrazia liberale: evoluzione e sfide
II. Democrazia partecipativa: partecipazione come qualità
III. Democrazia deliberativa: tra rappresentanza e partecipazione
IV. Conclusioni. Democrazia virtuale, democrazia globale
Anteprima del testo delle prime cinque pagine a stampa del primo capitolo.
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