The Social Sciences

Year: 2016
Volume: 11
Issue: 25
Page No. 6134 - 6140

Civil Society and Theory of Democracy: From the Legacy of the 20th Century

Authors : Vladimir Gutorov, Alexander Koryushkin and Konstantin Zavershinskiy

Abstract: The researchers explore a problem of correlation between institutions of civil society and liberal democracy. More specifically, they examine a phenomenon of "double democratization" (D. Held) that entails a) a separation of the state and civil society as a socially recognized necessity; and b) a consequent interdependent transformation of both the state and the civil society. These social processes are examined within a context of decades-long multifaceted theoretical debates between proponents of the liberal school of political philosophy and neo-Marxist theorists of the Frankfurt school (H. Marcuse, J. Habermas, etc.). Analysis of major stages in this debate shows that despite differences in argumentation, proponents of these two opposing schools of thought share a conviction that an effective policy of the state is capable of overcoming spontaneously emerging crises by directing resources to achieve specific goals. Both schools agree that power in a democratic state depends on endogenous factors: either on an acknowledgement of the state authority ("overload" theorists) or legitimacy ("legitimation crisis" proponents). Finally, representatives of both schools of thought share "fundamental pessimism" regarding a hypothesized decline in authority or legitimacy that emerges due to incongruence between citizens’ expectations of the state and those real possibilities that are at a disposal of the state-bureaucratic apparatus. The authors conclude their exploration of models of civil society and democracy with T.H. Marshall’s discussion of civil identity and civil rights and J. Schumpeter’s concept of "social democracy".

How to cite this article:

Vladimir Gutorov, Alexander Koryushkin and Konstantin Zavershinskiy, 2016. Civil Society and Theory of Democracy: From the Legacy of the 20th Century. The Social Sciences, 11: 6134-6140.

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