Three faces of the legitimacy crisis of liberal democracy : identity, rationality and universality
Barkçin, Savaş Ş.
Keyman, E. Fuat
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The thesis investigates the question of legitimacy crisis of liberal democracy as manifested by the processes, debates, concepts, popular demands and emerging new identities and forms of politics along the globalization phenomenon. It argues that this crisis is situated in three principal sites of the liberal theoretical and normative conceptualization: identity, rationality and universality. Then a dialogical and thematic reading is carried out among various theoretical positions in order to find out whether the current legitimacy crisis is an ephemeral or conjunctural development or rather it is a crisis which is exacerbated by the basic assumptions, modalities and configurations provided by the liberal democratic discourse. These positions are classical liberalism, the Rawlsian perspective and the communitarians, Habermas and the theory of deliberative democracy, and finally radical democracy and agonistic democracy approach within it. All these theoretical positions are critically presented and evaluated on the basis of their capacity to offer alternatives for the legitimacy crisis and for the reconstruction of the democratic legitimacy. In the final chapter, general findings, problems and prospects are introduced and certain strategies and modalities of theorization for political science are suggested which would both strengthen democratic participation and reconstitute the democratic legitimacy based on the intrinsic relationship between politics and ethics which has been largely ignored in the liberal democratic thought.