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Constitution and the Communitarian Democracy

Faculty of Political Science
Publication Date
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science


The author summarizes several years of debate between liberal and communitarian philosophers. The wrangle between those two major liens of political philosophy in the 1980s concentrated on two issues: the foundation and the justification of a political community and the motivation of its members to support it actively. Regarding the first issue, liberalism has defended successfully its universalistic attitude towards human rights. Partly it took into consideration communitarian critique, admitting that the universal validity of human rights need not to be justified by abstract and rational contractual structure but by the fact that liberal values have become an unavoidable element of the tradition of modern political communities. Regarding the second issue, liberalism had to accept the communitarian attitude towards the importance of republican virtues for the preservation of a politcal community. The proposals for such mediation of liberalism and communitarianism are included in the concepts of constitutional patriotism and communitarian participative democracy.

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