The Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence

Democracy as self-correction

25Oct2016 12:00 - 13:00

Lecture

Paul Scholten Centre Colloquium with Bastiaan Rijpkema (Legal Philosophy Leiden). Discussant: Tim Wolff (PSC).

Venue: Oudemanhuispoort, room A0.09

  • Oudemanhuispoort

    Oudemanhuispoort 4-6 | 1012 CN Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 3361

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Abstract

Can a democracy defend itself against anti-democratic parties? At face value, democracy is the value-neutral political system par excellence: leaving parties to compete so that the "best" ideas (that is: with the most votes) may win. But what happens when political parties use their political rights to work towards abolishing democracy as such? Should a democracy also remain neutral as to its own existence? I propose that a democracy should not. Democracy should not be seen as value-neutral only, but as a political system that is uniquely capable of always correcting, and overturning, previous decisions. Seeing democracy in this way, as a system of "governing ourselves by self-correction", can justify defending democracy against anti-democrats, i.e. banning antidemocratic parties in certain circumstances.

Research colloquium, organised by the Paul Scholten Centre. This colloquium is open to all, no registration required. A copy of the paper can be obtained via psc-fdr@uva.nl.

Published by  Paul Scholten Centre