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Sartori and the "Double Soul" of Democracy
Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
This is a review of Giovanni Sartori’s recent The Theory of Democracy Revisited, a thoroughly revised edition of Democrazia e definizioni. The author critically reconstructs the successive steps of Sartori’s analysis of democracy. He concludes by making a series of suggestions as to the most typical problems of the contemporary state, essentially those of distribution, redistribution and "proportional justice".
The first is to stress, in the minds of men, and particularly among young people, the liberal horn of the liberty-equality dilemma: that is, the value of "formal liberties" that are often taken for granted. The second is not to overplay the antinomies existing between liberal democracy and some of its egalitarian offshoots. Already today, in the wake of the "new liberties" which the welfare state has brought with it, we have equalities and "social rights" that have not caused irreparable violations of the ideas and rights of liberty.
Finally, the idea of liberty has to be historicized. It is the job of post-liberal theorists of democracy to find ways of translating into practice the new ideals of a liberty that is increasingly tied up with democratization seen as the equalization of opportunities in life.