Democracia Republicana / Republican Democracy
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$16.95 Paper, 109 pp.
In this essay Charles Taylor defines what is essential to democracy beyond its institutional manifestations—namely, representative institutions, popular suffrage, and political parties. Taylor supports a republican democratic theory, which he opposes to neoliberal democracy. Neoliberalism views democracy instrumentally and attaches no intrinsic value to political participation and self-government. Following Tocqueville, Taylor emphasizes the identification of citizens with the common good while rejecting monolithic constructions of a Rousseauean general will. Taylor seeks to outline a republican democratic theory that responds to contemporary challenges, particularly those that relate to the exclusion of cultural minorities in increasingly multicultural societies. The essential characteristic of the Tocquevillian compromise attained by Taylor is a sincere and innovative appreciation of diversity.
First presented in Chile in 1986, Democracia Republicana / Republican Democracy foresees a republican solution for the problems generated by the neoliberal democratic system inherited from Pinochet’s dictatorship. The essay was missing for many years and was only recently discovered. It is published here for the first time in both Spanish and English.
Published by LOM Ediciones, Santiago, Chile, and distributed in North America by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Charles Taylor, professor emeritus at McGill University, is an internationally celebrated public philosopher who strives to bridge the gap between philosophical theories and political action. He is the author of many books, including Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (1989), in which he attempts to articulate and to write a history of the “modern identity.” He continued this theme in his 1991 Massey Lecture, “The Malaise of Modernity.” In 2003, he was the first recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Gold Medal for Achievement in Research, in 2007 he won the Templeton Prize, and in June 2008 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in arts and philosophy. Charles Taylor is a Companion of the Order of Canada.