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41. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Gabriela Tănăsescu Editorial
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epistemic and political issues of democracy
42. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Adam Chmielewski Democracy, Interpassivity, and the Cognitocratic Fallacy
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Conceptions of deliberative democracy attach a particularly important role to the cognitive or epistemological competence of the agents of the political process. Such competence is viewed as a primary or even exclusive prerequisite qualifying one for the exercise of political power. The belief is amply illustrated by the contemporary debate between, on the one hand, the advocates of the broad participation of the people in democratic governance, and, on the other, the proponents of the deliberative ideal which presupposes that political power should be entrusted only to the people endowed with appropriate cognitive abilities. In my analysis of such cognitocratic conceptions, I stress the perils of the ascription of a prominent role to cognitive competence in the political process. In opposition to the cognitocratic approaches, both in their universalist and egalitarian, as well as elitist or meritocratic versions, I claim that they are marred by what I call the cognitocratic fallacy, and I argue that a more adequate understanding of governance in democratic systems should instead be based upon a political rather than epistemological capital. I also claim that the concept of political ability should be seen as potentially universal and that the potential may be activated through actual participation in democratic politics.
43. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Janusz Grygieńć Liberal Democracy: Between Epistemic Autonomy and Dependence
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Understanding the relationship between experts and laypeople is crucial for under-standing today’s world of post-truth and the contemporary crisis of liberal democracy. The emergence of post-truth has been linked to various phenomena such as a flawed social and mass media ecosystem, poor citizen education, and the manipulation tactics of powerful interest groups. The paper argues that the problem is, however, more profound. The underlying issue is laypeople’s inevitable epistemic dependence on experts. The latter is part and parcel of the “risk society” in which people question the scientific consensus and thus are able to manipulate the facts. It is a powerful weapon in the hands of illiberal democrats, though liberal democrats can make no use of it. The latter downplay the problem of citizens’ epistemic deficits and of the epistemic asymmetries be-tween them. The third and fourth generations of deliberative democrats are a perfect example. The paper argues that the concepts of interactional expertise and epistemic dependence explain why understanding between experts and laypeople is impossible. The said phenomena undermine liberalism’s unrealistic assumptions concerning citi-zens’ decision-making competence.
44. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Constantin Stoenescu The Social Vulnerabilities of Science and the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis
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According to the traditional image of science, if its achievements are reliable, then they will be communicated successfully and the public will trust in their applicability to solve practical problems. The new perspective on science as “socially robust knowledge” (Gibbons, 1999) is based on two other necessary conditions of knowledge production, namely, transparency and public participation. But the recent Covid-19 pandemic crisis has shown that the institutional weaknesses of the relationship between science and society generates an equally endemic mistrust. Should we go back to “heroic science” and the ‘“magic of science” to regain trust? Or the pandemic crisis just highlighted that the death of expertise (Nichols, 2017) is inevitable in the public space?
45. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Irina Zhurbina Political Limit of Neoliberal Democracy: The Strategy of Inequality
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The paper studies political consequences of the establishment of neoliberal democ-racy, which means the onset of a post-political state of the world. It is demonstrated that at the “end of politics,” the democratic principle of equal rights turns into its opposite—a radical inequality between transnational elites, personifying the power of “pure” capital, and the local population, representing the idea of “pure” life. Neoliberal democracy is studied as a limit concept, which shows the exhaustion of the democratic principle of equality. The paper shows that the return to democracy as the principle of equality becomes the driving ambition of modern politics of activism as a subjective process, unfolding in places where a situation of radical inequality arises.
46. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Gabriela Tănăsescu Electoral Legitimacy and Decentralization of Democracy or on a Paradigm Shift
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The paper seeks to analyze the causes that led to the decline of the procedural-electoral legitimacy paradigm, as explanatory paradigm, in favor of the models that have highlighted the significant changes occurred in the contemporary societies. For this purpose the paper examines Pierre Rosanvallon’s analytical model of interpreting "the revolution in the conception of legitimacy."
citizenship, human dignity, responsibility— actual and virtual
47. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Lorena Valeria Stuparu Citizen Identity and Participatory Political Culture. A Conceptual Approach
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Joining these two concepts of political science and philosophy (i.e. individual politi-cal identity and participatory political culture) is an attempt to explore their comprehen-sive potential, regarding the foundation of any democratic regime, namely the rule of law, civil society, a civilized global political world in which each individual can find his dignity, without being considered simply an anonymous in the great mass of people controlled and dominated through propaganda and restrictions by a relatively small number of people. The paper is structured on the main stated aspects: citizenship and political identity; identity, human dignity and the rule of law (as “medium term”); par-ticipative political culture. Participatory political culture is defining for the identity of a citizen in a state of law, but when the myths of democracy come into conflict with the political reality, indifference or absenteeism are also part of the cultural practices of citizenship and this is a challenge to political philosophy.
48. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Maria Sinaci Human Dignity, Democracy and other Challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic
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Human dignity has been a much-discussed topic in contemporary debate, and it has benefited from numerous approaches stemming from the fields of philosophy, politics, ethics, psychology or the legal, social and cultural domains. Yet, the meaning of the concept can vary in clarity, leading to ambiguity of usage and approach. The aim of this paper is to examine the concept of human dignity and to assess its potential as a funda-mental value for contemporary democracies. A conceptual analysis of human dignity was conducted in the first part of the paper, embracing two essential coordinates of democracy, the political and the ethical approach. An extension of the notion of human dignity, with applications on the collective level rather than simply on the individual one, implies a set of obligations and responsibilities for the democratic state, a context that involves exploring the relationship between human dignity and human rights. In turn, democracy is a means for the constitutional state to provide both the opportunities and the adequate framework for the fullest affirmation and realisation of human dignity. The global challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a growing list of changes that highlighted new faces of democracy and respect for human dignity, aspects that were analysed in the final part of this paper. The author promotes the idea that hu-man dignity emerges as a fundamental value of democracy and that recent global chal-lenges call for a new momentum on debates of this concept.
49. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Henrieta Șerban Democracy and the Virtual Demos
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Democracy is currently influenced by the fluxes of information, digitalization, big data analyses and information, as power in general, but also as the power of control over the people. Existing as a double of “the people,” the reality of the virtual demos influ-ences the realities of democracy. Political communication gains a strength online, where both the leaders and the citizens express positions, interpretations and opinions on the state of affairs. The present time is more than ever before the preferred political time. Comfort and relative laziness characterizing the times are consonant with virtual demos and digital democracy, with positive and negative aspects. The civic actions pursuing the good and generous causes animating public interest are among the main positive aspects of virtual demos and digital democracy. The paper aims to identify, describe and assess the main implications of these political virtual actions, attitudes and the participa-tion of the virtual demos in emerging digital democracy.
50. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Columbus N. Ogbujah, Charles Bereboni, Nympha Nkama The Responsibility of Social Media to Truth, Reason and Democracy
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The rise of social media has given a significant boost to the information and com-munication industry. Prior to now, the common news outlets were the mainstream print and electronic media, domiciled in specific locations, and guided by particular laws of nation states. These laws, for the most part, regulated and enforced decency, compelling practitioners to adhere to the ethics of truth, reason and democracy. But with the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., that are used by enormous number of people to communicate, network, and advertise their business-es, the determination of information to be released to the public is no longer under the monopoly of a select few technocrats and entrepreneurs. Once the immediate access to these facile communication channels of social media is set in place, everyone with a basic social skill becomes a communicator of news. This phenomenon has revolution-ized the media industry, giving everyone opportunity to have information at the snap of their fingers. But by the same token, and leveraging on the complexity of formulating regulating laws, the social media circumvents most existing norms, leading to abuse of public trust, credibility deficit and crisis of confidence. This essay makes a foray into the responsibility of social media in what concerns truth, reason and democracy. Using the analytic method, it gauges the current social media practice vis-à-vis the traditional media, and highlights the gray areas that precipitate abuse. The essay concludes by advocating for strict adherence to media ethics that will promote the values of responsi-bility, fairness, truthfulness, accountability and universal democratic ideals.
democracy and the faces of racism
51. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Ekaterina Churashova Racism as a Face of Modern Democracy
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The paper aims at studying the problem of dominance of some states over others in international communication. The hypothesis of the study is the idea that one of the reasons of the inequality of states is the hegemony of democracy. We can designate this amazing phenomenon as “political racism.” Democracy has defined the dominant polit-ical race in the last decade. States that do not belong to this “higher” race are recognized as inferior, dangerous for the countries of the “democratic race.” The danger of political racism lies in the transition to “fascist democracy.”
52. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Earnest N. Bracey Racial Inequities in American Banking: Black Banks and Financial Institutions, and the Demise of the Westside Federal Credit Union in Las Vegas, Nevada
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This paper is not an indictment of Black banks and financial institutions, but it presents the difficulties and failures of such minority businesses. Unfortunately, some African Americans are naïve when it comes to banking, primarily because of a lack of financial literacy; and such education is not taught in our schools. Of course, financial education is the key for Black patrons who have never had a bank account. Whether this means that African Americans should only bank with Black financial institutions is important to understand, because of the racial disparities and flat-out discrimination when it comes to banking credit and providing business, home, and personal loans to Black banking clientele. In this regard, traditional white banks in the United States simply upset the financial apple-cart, to use the metaphor, when it comes to fairly dealing with Black people—that is, lending to Black entrepreneurs and legitimate borrowers. With the failure of Black banks, because of a lack of capital and high net-worth individuals and white investors, it has been extremely hard for many of these venerable institutions to hang-on when providing maximum loan possibilities needed over the years (sometimes more than necessary).
democracy in national or regional manifestations
53. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Slobodan Nešković Democratic Development Trends in the Countries of the South Caucasus Region
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The Caucasus region includes the North and South Caucasus. The author analyzes only the theme of the South Caucasus, which is also called the Caucasus. Democratic development processes in the countries of the region are threatened by permanent con-flicts. This is especially the decades of war in the Nagorno-Karabakh province. The South Caucasus sub-region is characterized by the complex structure of the population as a result of historical circumstances and crisis geopolitical trends, as a result of sever-al-year confrontations of great powers in a given area. These countries are located in the southeastern borders of the European Union and belong to Europe and Asia, while the availability of energy resources initiates conflicts with Russia, which considers this area a sphere of vital national interest. Common to all of these countries is the presence of the frozen conflict which is a result of multi-level controversies, territorial misunder-standings and inter-ethnic contradictions. There is also a traditional attempt by Western hegemony to master the observed spaces.
54. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Anastazija Tanja Ðelić Contemporary Migration as a Repercussion of Economic Globalization and Democratic Processes, with Reference to Serbia and the Balkans
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The central problem in the present globalization and democratic processes is the constant increase of socio-economic inequalities. This involves modern migrations with overall risks. As a social phenomenon, migration has been presented since ancient times. It occurs in all societies and due to historical, social and cultural differences, the reaction of individuals and communities to migration can be very different. In the contemporary society that emphasizes mobility and information flow, migrations have become an integral part of life and society. Moreover, their scope and patterns become more and more complex. Given the recent increase in irregular migration to Europe, there is growing interest in developing new ways to collect and analyse data on irregular migration. Migration is today more than ever at the centre of global attention. The main goal of internationational organizations in this field is to harness the development potential of migration for individual migrants and societies. The Balkans region has witnessed a sharp increase in the numbers of mixed migration flows arriving in or transiting through its territory, along the so-called Balkan route. My country, i.e. Serbia, is facing a series of political, economic, social and cultural challenges, which this paper examines, explaining why the state still has a high emigration and low immigration potential, as well as to what extent the return to Serbia today is a complex option. In addition to the high numbers, the mixed composition of these flows adds complexity to the task of addressing them effectively and in line with international commitments and standards. This study focuses on the relations between international organizations, migrations and national interests of countries. The author determines that migrations are, to some extent, a challenge for the Balkan region, not only in terms of an increased danger of extremism, but also because of the possible outbreak of regional conflicts.
55. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Marina Protić European Union Investment Funds in the Western Balkans with International Audit Standards
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The European Union conceives IPA preaccession assistance funds as an instrument of support to the countries of the Western Balkans in the process of European integra-tion. The components of assistance include the most important spheres of public life, embracing regional integration and service economy as segments of social development of the countries. The regional interconnection is realized through various forms of cross-border cooperation between countries in their accession to the European Union project. In order to use the funds, joint local and regional initiatives are formulated in the context of achieving sustainable economic and social development. Those projects comprise adequate arrangements for all relevant subjects with the use of modern technologies and modalities of implementation. Funds contribute to the improvement of inter-state cooperation, reducing regional disparities and ensuring balanced development of the Balkan countries. The generally accepted international auditing rules and standards recognize financial statements, in order to determine the accuracy of project implementation.
democracy as wisdom or the philosophical pedagogy of democracy
56. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 3
Martha C. Beck Plato’s Dialogues as a Foundation for Universal Dialogue
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In the Phaedrus and Seventh Letter, Plato says the spoken word is much more important than the written word. Plato’s dialogues have been discussed for 2400 years. The Founders of the International Society for Universal Dialogue describe philosophy as a universal dialogue. Particularly in this era of a decline in democratic societies, discussing Plato’s dialogues can educate us about how to preserve, and how to lose, free and open societies. Plato was born at the end of the “Golden Age” of Athens. By the time he was 30, Athens had destroyed itself. Abuses in the economic system, the mili-tary, the medical community, the legal profession, the political community, the arts and in education led to social instability and the election of a dictator, in the name of a re-turn to “traditional” values. Plato wants us to discuss analogies with our own societies.
john rensenbrink — friend, colleague, and mentor
57. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 2
Charles Brown John Rensenbrink: Life and Work
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58. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 2
Tony Affigne Memories of My Friend John Rensenbrink, His Passion and Praxis
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59. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 2
Charles Brown John Rensenbrink and the Promise of Politics
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60. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 32 > Issue: 2
Michael H. Mitias John Rensenbrink, the Man I Knew
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