There is growing criticism of deliberative democracy from agonistic positions, which makes it relevant to revitalize Rawls and Habermas’ debate on the concept of the political. Habermas’ position has become dominant in deliberative democracy: the majority of both empirical and theoretical studies rely on the proceduralist, rather than on substantionalist tradition. In contrast with Rawls, Habermas simply states that political process is not limited by the political system and does not articulate the idea of the political. This paper promotes the concept that substantialist tradition is more promising for political theory due to the idea of the political. To justify this idea we briefly discuss both projects, sum up the Rawls-Habermas debate, and then scrutinize the concept of politics in both approaches. The paper shows that political liberalism focuses on the conditions of deliberation, rather than on philosophical construction of the deliberation rules as Habermas does. Rawls differentiates the metaphysical and the political as autonomous modes of thinking, acknowledging that the latter contains its own epistemic and normative claims. At the same time Rawls’ concept of the political needs to be partly reconsidered. Political liberalism should acknowledge the dyadic nature of politics. One the one side, legitimate doctrines politically subordinate illegitimate doctrines. On the other side, political tensions are permanently produced by the co-existence of various legitimate doctrines. This correction strengthens Rawls’ arguments in his debate with Habermas and enriches deliberative democracy by the topics of violence, power and freedom, which are central to political theory.
This article examines the question of identity construction among migrants by looking at the case of the Russian-Germans in Germany. The article summarizes an empirical study on the German repatriation program and on the biographies of Russian-Germans who migrated to Germany from former Soviet states in the 1990s and 2000s. The author employs a critical discourse analysis of institutions, organizations and publications related to the German repatriation program, as well as a biographical analysis of narrative interviews conducted with Russian-Germans in Germany. The author has analyzed descriptions of personal biographies and family histories across generations and has sought to answer the question of how, when and where a collective identity narrative is constructed.
The article describes theoretical junctions revealed by different definitions and usages of the concept “political myth”. It argues that the main difficulty results from the fact that “myth” is a “universal” social phenomenon that is rather “particular” in its manifestation: it is fundamental for any society, but its “work” depends on perception of specific groups in concrete contexts. The article considers theoretical discussions about a narrative nature of contemporary myths, their exclusively verbal or non-verbal form, about arrangement of mythical comprehension of reality and mechanisms of mythologization, about connections between myths and ideologies. However most scholars agree that about capability to be shared and perceived as “a natural order of things” should be considered a key characteristic of any myth. This category is fundamental for analysis of symbolic politics. However its heuristic potential depends on a particular research focus. In the frame of narrower approach that considers symbolic politics as a “constructivist” activity of political elites aimed at manipulation of mass consciousness “the myth” comes as a category of political practice; it points to “artificial”, simulating character of the constructed signs. While a wider approach viewing symbolic politics as a social production of competing ways of interpretation of reality and struggle for their domination opens a perspective for considering myth as communicative process that involves both mythmakers and their auditory. It makes focus on a study of both political and semantic conditions that make particular myth a “lens” that determines perception of reality. So, myth turns to be both category of practice in symbolic politics and instrument of its analysis which makes the work with this term rather complicated.
The author proposes a new approach to the interpretation of political phenomena traditionally described in both academic and political discourse as "nationalism" and "separatism". "Nationalism" as a concept can provide a research framework for evaluating the factors that provoke ethnic tensions in democracies and stimulate their transformation into open conflicts between the central state and regional authorities in regions possessing a certain level of cultural - economic - political autonomy, but it needs to be updated to take into account the "new nationalism" phenomenon. "New nationalism" has recently taken root in the nation states of "old" Europe in regions with a high level of civic activism and economic and welfare development. Differing nationalist agendas comprise a situational combination of cultural, social and economic factors, which are channeled into political protest. The contestation over identity issues in territorial communities within the nation state are used by political elites to promote preferential tax policies, budget autonomy and an independent social and cultural policy, especially in the use of language and in education. At the core of the political agenda is the "right to decide" and to choose the priorities of community development which is promoted by democratic political agents of diverse political affiliation, predominantly centrist, in coalition with former radical nationalists who have abandoned radical political activities. An overview of regionalist contention in Europe indicates possible future transformations in the organization of political space in democracies where identity issues in hand with consistent development strategies will be the key consolidating factors for political communities involved in the integration processes.
On the basis of relevant world literature analyzed, the author characterizes ideological attitudes of researchers of informal economy (within which two blocks are distinguished: shadow economy and domestic one). As is demonstrated in the article, orthodox liberals regard the "informals" as agents of the "invisible hand" of the market; to the mind of socially oriented liberals, the "informals" are indicators of the balance of economic and social demands; conservatives qualify the "shadowers" as breakers of social conventions; finally, in the eyes of socialist theoreticians, the said elements are enemies of society regulation on planned lines.
Article considers criteria of defyning some powers to be "world powers" or "super-powers', analyses formats of informal consultations between great powers on global issues