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Problems and Perspectives

Roland Axtmann

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Democracy: Problems and Perspectives provides a critical review of the scholarly and political debates about democratic thought and of arguments about democratic practice. On the basis of an interpretation of Immanuel Kant's political philosophy, the book presents democracy as a regime type in which citizens, who are united to give law, rule themselves and where such self-rule is exercised by citizens who embrace local and global patriotism. In the course of developing this idea of democracy, the book addresses issues such as human rights and their relationship to democracy; the policy of the global promotion of human rights and democracy; sovereignty and the nation-state; popular sovereignty and multicultural citizenship; and cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitan democracy.

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1. Kant's Republicanism and the Cosmopolitan Persuasion
Kant's Republicanism and the 'Moral Personality' of States
The Sovereign Equality of States, Peaceful Coexistence and the International Constitution
Kant's Cosmopolitanism
Cicero's Republicanism and Stoic Cosmopolitanism: Kant in Comparison
John Rawls and Ju¨rgen Habermas: Alternative Ways of Understanding Kant's Cosmopolitanism
2. The Languages of Human Rights and the Liberal Dialect
The Many Voices of the Human Rights Discourse
Human Rights as the New Standard of Civilisation
Human Rights and Democracy: Liberal Perspectives
3. The Globalisation of Democracy: The Right to Democratic Governance
The Entitlement to Democratic Governance in International Law and International Politics
The Ideology of Democracy Promotion
Excursus: Prerequisites and Causes of Democratisation
4. Sovereignty and Democracy
Conceptual Distinctions
The Politics of the Sovereignty Discourse
'Domestic Sovereignty' as 'Popular Sovereignty'
5. Liberal Democracy between Multiculturalism and Globalisation
From 'Demos' to 'Demoi': Multiculturalism and Democracy
Globalisation and Democracy

About the Author

Roland Axtmann is Professor of Politics and Head of the Department of Politics and IR at the University of Wales Swansea. Author of Balancing Democracy (Continuum, 2001) and Liberal Democracy into the 21st Century (Manchester University Press, 1996) and editor of Understanding Democratic Politics: An Introduction (Sage, 2003) and Globalization and Europe: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations (Continuum, 1998).


A wide-ranging and thought-provoking survey of key problems of contemporary democratic politics. Axtmann applies democratic theory in a fresh and illuminating way to the hotly-debated issues of sovereignty, human rights and multicultural politics
- Dr. John Schwarzmantel, University of Leeds