Habermas and the New Populisms

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Habermas is widely criticized for adumbrating an essentialist, deliberative, and consensual approach to democracy that neglects the significance and importance of contingency, conflict, and emotions in the struggle for hegemony and collective identification. However, his conception of system and lifeworld raise the claim that no society could exist without providing for a minimal degree of political cooperation between professional actors in the political system and spontaneously acting laypeople in the social lifeworld. Contingency, conflict, and emotions are obviously at play in this political conception of how to ground system and lifeworld in mutual relations of power, knowledge, trust, and respect. The goal is not to reach a stable consensus or succumb to conflict and chaos but to avoid that system becomes uncoupled from lifeworld, thus undermining the reciprocal connection between political authorities and laypeople required to make and implement authoritative decisions which are ‘for', ‘of', ‘with', and ‘by' ‘the people'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Identity and Democratic Citizenship in Turbulent Times
EditorsNiels Noergaard Kristensen
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9781799836780
ISBN (Print)9781799836773
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020


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