Why is democracy prone to degeneration, and how does this affect our conventional notions of democracy itself? Do we usually depend too much on a thin formal institutional conception of democracy focused on electoral routines, and thus, neglect broader questions of class, culture, equality, and solidarity? How can we reimagine and also regenerate progressive democracy with the right balance of freedom, equality, and solidarity on the local, national, as well as supranational levels? And how can we overcome the pervasive sense of powerlessness in the face of abstract impersonal forces, forces that Charles Taylor refers to not only as opaque, but also as those signalling the loss of citizen efficacy?
Guests featured in this episode:
Charles Taylor, one of the most preeminent contemporary philosophers of our times. He is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at McGill University in Montreal. He was Fellow of All Souls College and Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford University. His remarkably vast oeuvre includes landmark monographs on Hegel, social theory, religion, language, and multiculturalism. Among his books let me mention Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity (1989), Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition (1992), or A Secular Age (2007) which have decisively shaped contemporary debates in their respective fields. His latest book, co-authored with Craig Calhoun and Dilip Gaonkar is called Degenerations of Democracy.