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Unpolitical Democracy

Nadia Urbinati
Political Theory
Vol. 38, No. 1 (February 2010), pp. 65-92
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25655533
Page Count: 28
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Unpolitical Democracy
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Abstract

This paper analyzes critically the appeal the unpolitical is enjoying among contemporary political philosophers who are democracy's friends. Unlike a radical critique of democracy, what I propose to call "criticism from within," takes the form of dissatisfaction with the erosion of an independent mind and impartial judgment per effect of the partisan character of democratic politics. This paper proposes three main criticisms of the actual trend toward unpolitical views of democracy: the first points to the strategic use of deliberation as an antidote against democratic procedures themselves (like voting and majority rule); the second to the negative conception of democracy that the unpolitical aspiration makes visible; and the third to the dissolution of political judgment within a model of judgment that is tailored around justice.

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