Revista de Sociologia e Política
versión impresa ISSN 0104-4478
SILVA, Ricardo. Neo-roman republicanism and contestatory democracy. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2011, vol.19, n.39, pp. 35-51. ISSN 0104-4478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-44782011000200004.
This article examines the concept of democracy that is derived from the "neo-Roman" formula of freedom as absence of domination. For those authors linked to the neo-Roman tradition, the fulfillment of the republican principle of the people as the "guardian of freedom" depends upon the constitution of a model of contestatory democracy presented as surpassing the models of electoral and participatory democracy _ both of which are considered to be tributaries of a positive conception of freedom. After an initial focus on the concept of contestatory democracy, this article goes on to analyze the major criticisms that have been made of this concept. Two objections are given salience: first, that the rationalism of the contestatory model leads to the de-politization of democratic deliberation and second, that excessive neo-Roman zeal against populism and the "tirany of the majority" reproduces the "elitist" characteristics of the classic Republican tradition. We conclude with a brief evaluation of the pertinence of these criticisms.
Palabras llave : Neo-Roman Republicanism; Freedom as Absence of Domination; Contestatory Democracy; Elitism; Rationalism; Depolitization.