The Problems of Democratic Institutions: West and East of Europe Cover Image

The Problems of Democratic Institutions: West and East of Europe
The Problems of Democratic Institutions: West and East of Europe

Author(s): Zoran M. Avramović
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Универзитет у Нишу
Keywords: Europe; USA; democracy; national identity; political relativism; liberalism;

Summary/Abstract: The author deals with the problem of European (global) democratization and not with its goals. The author defines the first group of problems as internal contradictions of modern democratic states. In addition to the existing historical-political criticisms of democratic rule, the author refers to critical analysis of democracy in John Keane's works. According to Keane, the modern democratic state gets involved in several ways in the field of free circulation of public opinion. Based on this and other analyses (Bobio, Dahl), the author concludes that in contemporary European democratic societies there also exist profound contradictions that are transferred to globalization of democracy, too. The author identifies the second problem concerning European democratization in its anthropological assumptions. With reference to Tocqueville's book "Democracy in America", the author states that American democracy man develops personality characteristics oriented to the acquisition of material goods (enrichment). The expansion of Euro-American picture of man to other democracies creates the tension between universal institutions and national political cultural. The third problem concerning democracy is defined from the viewpoint of political relativism. The history of the world is the history of cultural differences. The short-term experience in european democratization proves that political relativism is not respected and that tendency to imposing Euro-American model is gaining in strength. This process endangers political identity of a nation, which becomes the source of confrontation and conflicts inside and between the states. In summary, the author suggests the solution of the problem in the spirit of political liberalism. The states (or groups of states) do not have the right to prescribe for other states how to define their public good, except in case they endanger other states (or in case they conduct massive killing of their own citizens).

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 103-111
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English