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ON NORBERTO BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY OF
CORINAYTURBE UniversidadNacional Autonomade Me6xico
of Bobbiois to reflect Oneof thecentral objectives theworkof Norberto the of on contemporary democracy, through criticalexamination boththe and theoriesand democratic redevelopment presentstateof democratic and of whichareas much gimes.In his observations analyses democracy, as we to historical-sociological philosophical, find a valuable contribution of the understanding thepossibilities limitsof democratic and government, out in whichBobbio points "[have] become theseyears common the denomiof theoretical practical nator allthepolitically and Two relevant, questions."' of aspectsof Bobbio'sdiscussion democracy into provide insights his own of and his understanding democratic theoryandpractice, helpdistinguish fromthatof othercontemporary approach theorists Robert like Dahl and GiovanniSartori.The first is Bobbio'sexamination the relationship of and betweenliberaldemocracy socialism.Thereis a tensionin Bobbio's to thoughtbetweenhis commitment liberalism and democracy his and realization and that liberaldemocracy (both theoretical practical) alone cannotguarantee socialjustice.Thesecondaspectof Bobbio'sdemocratic on theoryis his reflection the "unfulfilled promises" democracy. of Bobbio believestheelection democratic of in procedures itselfentails realization the of certain fundamental values. Thesevalues givesenseto democracy, renderingit themostdesired-or atleast,thelessundesired-form government, of and establishits superiority over otherforms of politicalorganization, especiallyits historical counterparts, autocracy dictatorship. or However, to the of according Bobbio, promises democracy notbeenfulfilled, have and
AUTHOR'SNOTE:I am most gratefulto the editor of PoliticalTheoryfor commentson earlier versions of this essay; I want also to express my warmestthanksto Mary LyndonShanleyfor readingearlier draftson this essay and makingmanyconstructivecomments. Vol. POLMICAL THEORY, 25 No.3, June1997 377-400 ? 1997SagePublications, Inc. 377
byclassifying clarifying the of testing definition theconcepts. writings anattempt onlyto His are not political in conceptualize politicsbut also to participate politics.andbetween feasibleandthedesirable.thosewhose "classic" thestrict to for theoryor modelis indispensable an understanding reality. on one hand.378 THEORY/ June 1997 POLITICAL illuminates continuous to rethink only the thenature thisfailure of need not democratic in theory thelightof thelessonsof democratic itself. other. between the Thus. understanding whatshouldbe meantby democracy an of has becomea crucial for problem theLeft. has becomethe specialinterlocutor the Italian of Left.6 Communist Partyfrom the international communist and movement. on Bobbio's reflections democracy be recorded developments a can as of as theorythatconsiders democracy a formof government which. BOBBIO'SUNDERSTANDING DEMOCRACY OF A. discussion acquired newstrength.3 constantly He tries to recuperate rethink "lessonsof the and the to classics. are theoretical-political writings.whichareunderstood instruments the understanding the for of world. we find this political"vocation" constant reference a to certaintheoretical-cultural fusion through which he moves his analyses factsandvalues. wellas byreconstructing as theoretical as models. one where philosophy andpoliticalsciencecometogether whichBobbiocalls "political and thethe the of ory". with the fall of so-called socialism. defender individual of political he rights. especially theproduct twofundamental of interests: theoretical. practical and analysis convergent situations participationin ideological debates.5 and of Bobbiodealsstraightforwardly practical with concerns his writings in on A specificideological debates. are in wherethe principal of objectiveis the construction a generaltheoryof Bobbiocarriesout this task by definingpreciselythe essential politics. The "Minimum Definition"of Democracy: ProceduralDemocracy Bobbio's thoseondemocracy.from and ." returning theideasof thegreat writers havebeenconsidered that in sense-from Plato Kelsen-thatis tosay.4 of working themoutanewforthestatement resolution ourownproblems.Even in his most abstract a texts.' in philosophical problems thepolitical and and field. the real this has a In new context. whichby virtueof its has to particular and history managed attain maintain autonomy an vis-a-vis Withthe withdrawal the Italian Marxist-Leninist of dogmas. practice I.some of Bobbio'swritings theoretical the strictsense.
poses two fundamental questions: who governsandhow do and who and whichprocedures? theygovern? (ii) whodecides governs under to to leadsBobbio workoutwhathe calls Oneof theanswers thesequestions definition" democracy. classical tripartite and distinction between Bobbio says. theformer. over thefew.a specification are for of whatsortof conditions required theirapplication.bya "primary fundamental" democracy on no based thenumber rulers. to on to of are forms of government also distinguished the basis of the ethical on .whathas the is changedover the courseof the centuries the way in whichthe people exercisetherightof governing.8 is thusthe government the manyor of the majority. of with and formsof government oneand comparison monarchy aristocracy. Powerin a modern is democracy thepower of of the representatives the demos. and for to newhistorical "democracy" Bobbio "As hasalwayskeptits fundamental calleduponto meaning: forthepersons in take(or collaborate the takingof) collectivedecisions. weshallsee.the citizenschoose the representatives to undertake collectivedecisionsin theirname. that in of government: democracy designates formof government which in politicalpower is exercisedby the many.who are those charged with making collectivedecisionsby meansof a complexprocess.between ancient lies modemdemocracy in thedistinction between directandrepresentative In the weredirectly involved thedecision in participation.respectively.or by the greater number. This divisionis replaced time.thisdefinition of As a "minimum regards rules of decisions as democracy a set of procedural forthetaking collective of in to andmustinclude. or describes specificform a Inits descriptive analytical "democracy" use. longer and This Kelsenmakesbetweenautonomy heteronomy.while in the latter.. to a largenumber members of by it of the group". theanalytical sense.In otherwords.7 secondcriterion to to decisions are gives priority theprocedures according whichcollective is the are made: distinction basedon whether decisions takenaccording the whichleadsto a distinction or between to anascending descending process. to According Bobbio the essentialelementsof democracy-a certain and equality a certain libas erty-are thesamein modern democracy in theancient..a democracy is this of characterized conferring power. in Thefundamental and difference.10 Inaddition theprescriptions theentitlement andexercise power. the of is whoselegitimacy grounded the ascending in government thepeople. frombelow) and autocracy power democracy powerascending (the (the fromabove). addition thespecification therules.9 formof power. citizens processes. onthedistinction of but andautocracy. descending that Inspiteof thevasttransformation democracy undergone adapt has to circumstances socialchanges.Yturbe NORBERTO / BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY 379 OF (i) the outset.
thus Dahl refers to insteadof "democracies. Bovero of do As suggests: "in spite of the diversity of perspectives.of influentialtraditions and languages. . Taking as a point of reference the standpointof jurists like Ross andKelsen who startfroma purelyprocedural as conceptionof democracy. M. or the worst form of government.or associations that. In contrast."'2 "polyarchies" These conceptions democracy notexcludeone another.equality is defined as fundamentally equalityof politicalpower.Bobbio insists that it is necessaryto have an analyticalcriterionthatallows us to decide whether a particularstate is democraticor not.thatends up rendering it incompatiblewith the otherperspectives.as the best. as well as between the different ways of or understanding conceiving this form of government. organizations.those relativelyautonomous groups.380 THEORYJune1997 / POLITICAL principlesthatinspireandjustify them. In its prescriptiveor evaluativeuse.for moderndemocrats. The distinctionsthatBobbioestablishesbetweenthedemocracyof ancient times and that of modern times. "butnot a poor one. Democracy is to be understoodas a set of proceduresassuring the citizens' direct or indirect participationalong the different stages of the decision-makingprocesses. Minimalpoliticalequality.fromthis perspective.dependingon the historicalmoment.For democracy. democracyhas been considered.The politically relevantsubjects in the democraticregimes are. However.For these theoristscompetition among groups constitutes a democratic regime.thatis to say.with equalitybeing its principle or philosophical foundation. are able to exert influence and to select authorities.occurs with universalsuffrage. a meansfor makingcollective decisions. . all individualsareequallyworthyof governingandmakingthe decisions which affect theirsociety.while at the 14 same time defendinghis procedural conceptionof democracy. as competing forces.other theoristslike Dahl and Sartorifocus on the relationsand agreementsof the differentexisting forces or interestgroups."the nucleus of his theoryof democracy. none of them puts forwardan image or an interpretation or a re-definitionof the realityof democraticregimes. the least bad. .enable him to specify the distinctivefeaturesof democraticregimes."'3 Bobbio himself has considered the results of the theoriesof Dahl and Sartoriin his own theory. as equal opportunity for citizens to participatein the governmentof their society. the theorieson democracy.Bobbio's work Comparedto othercontemporary accords great importanceto the "juridical" dimension. Bobbio proposes a minimumdefinition. They are equal from the point of view of politics: being equal before the law. Besides their ."'' Aroundthis "minimumdefinition." thatcontrastsdemocracy as a form of governmentto "all forms of autocraticgovernment. Bobbio will weave diverse ways of approaching questionof democracy. Bobbio thus focuses on the so-called rules of the game.
thepowerof making among a veryhighnumber citizens.the meaningof refers theprocedure to whichdecisions taken not democracy through are and of so to thecontent thosedecisions. embark a discussion of 'alternativepolitics' . of ation.withoutdeludingoneself or deludingothers. of Modern is in democracy "aregime whichall adult citizens havepolitical onein which is universal there rights. or in directly indirectly. necessary pointof departure. with a realisticspirit. impossible one must seek the consensusof the majority.butfrom of is "the it actual regimes: onlywayto savedemocracy by taking as it is. distinguished fromanother. rules are Bobbio proposesa vision of politics in which the procedural the "To minimum on requirements."'" Bobbio in fromDahl and Sartori his definition the valuesuponwhich of departs as democracy stands."'8 short. basicruleof democracy that requires suchdecisions be takenbasedon the majority Giventhatunanimity practically principle.Yturbe NORBERTO / BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY 381 OF on of agreement the fundamentals the nature democracy. the Theyconsider pheon not nomena democracy fromthe standpoint its idealimage."'9 Whentheyhavea "maximum extension political of all rights. . Second. it is essential to consider not just but the possiblenew themesandnew strategies."'7 of Thedefinition theserulesis fundamental it is through since themthat who it is established mustmakethedecisions by whatprocedures and these decisionsshouldbe made:'Those thatwe call the formsof government.particularly to the role of equalityas a founding the principle to the ways of identifying empirical and dimensions the of valuesof democracy. firstandforemost rulesof the gamein whichthe politicalcontestunfoldsin a givenhistorical situis Our context characterized thevictory democracy. First.20 is whentherearemanypeoplehavingto makethe decisions. . the case of contemporary In democracies-each the individuals of democracies-representative with a . of Democracy's in of themajority citizens theresolution theconflicts thepolitical of in sphere. the decision-making the process." "are one Bobbiowrites. thatthrough different social democracy andeconomic on policiescanbe adopted depending thewill of themajority.which of not only governthe members a community also connectthe people but rulesfacilitate widestparticipation the amongthemselves.Dahl. havein common andSartori realistic perspectives."'6 historical by lies whosepredominant significance in thefactthatit is a setof rules. suffrage." thecitizens havethe rightto participate. As an alternative the conception politicsas antagonistic to of conflict. Twoconditions mustbe metbeforespeaking a minimum of definition of decisions mustbe distributed democracy. thebasisof therules on In wherebythe collectivedecisionsare made. in are "thesphere whichthedecisions taken mostaffectthecommunity that as a whole. of Bobbio.
the the of this wholetradition the declarations the rightsof freedom. beyond sortof coercion. be madeunder samerule. 23 The ultra-minimum definitionof democracy proposedby Bobbiouniversal and suffrage majority rule-has certain basicdistinguishing feait turesthatrender original: it mustbe interpreted thelightof thevalues in (1) in implicit theprocedures. first.2' to Bobbioaddsa third condition thesetwoinitial the conditions. a what distinguishesdemocratic regime. of one Bobbio'sfirst objectivesis to demonstrate possiblerelation the between and This democracy liberalism. maintain links betweenmembers a specific of society. and of valuespeacefully. popular the control political of power-is a necessary and condition. it linksdemocracy liberalism (3) and becausedemocratic of libertywill be the guarantor liberalliberty: "While civil liberties a necessary are condition the exerciseof political for liberty.fortheconservation civil of liberties. of of of meeting."24 B. any Democracy if it does notpresuppose wholetradition liberalism. it is based (2) upona clear of recognition thevalue of participation. then. a political ideology conceives that reality a certain in .in turn. guarantee and of of realalternatives.nonviolence.382 THEORYJune1997 POLITICAL / in of decisions his rightto participate themaking collective appoints or her elections basedonthemajority to make representatives. expression. as a result this. collecthrough rule. brotherhood. Democracy'sNecessary Relationshipto Liberalism Bobbiohas neverabandoned liberalism. between form a of government characterized a certain by distribution power bycertain of and and specificprocedures.theexistence guarantee the and of of fourbasicliberties themodemworld.freedom opinion. whichholdsthatthe rightsof freedomare the necessary conditionof all possibledemocracies. his In to between attempt stateanewtherelation and democracy socialism.for the achievement. this-in otherwords. is to say. whichallow individuals decideamong to political "cannot function options.and of association. to comorganized create possibility resolving the of of munity conflicts interests and existence. will tive decisions the which. forBobbio. of of whicharethe of actionitself. and whicharenecessary guarantee eration. AmongthesevaluesBobbiomentions tolpeace."22 Besidesthe two fundamental presupposition democratic valuespresupposed democracy-politicalequality(politicalrightsfor by all) andthe rightsof liberty(personal libertyandthe civil liberties)-the definition of procedural the presupposes presence valuesin theprocedures themselves. because guarantee to in participation poweris. relation-that therelation is.
Those principlesplay such an important work thathe prefersto analyzethe relationbetweenliberalismand socialism underthe termsof libertyand equality: we In the faceof theenormous to problems findbefore ."27 the ethico-politicallevel. definedby certainmodels for interpreting realityandhistory and by a specific constellation of values or aims proposed for political activity. In political language. and of but may about liberty to problems equality be less pretentious alsomoreuseful: for thosein which democratic liberty thosecountries. . a generalconceptionof the political world. the concept of liberty has two fundamental meanings: libertymeaningabsenceof interference. the conditionsof developmentgenerated by modem society.The doctrineof the liberalstateis "thedoctrineof the On juridical limits of the power of the State. a Bobbio understands particular By "liberalism" conceptionof the state. like or not. .The differentcharters and declarationsof the rights of man are the juridical manifestationof the defense of the libertyof the individual.This conceptionof the state forms partof a particular ideology. beit. a constantof this political doctrineis the defense of the principleof the liberty of the individualagainstthepowerof the stateor of the churchif this impedes the free developmentof the individual'spersonality."26 and and better. regarding of If that distribution wealth. contrastingwith the absolutestateandthe social state. liberalismconsists in the search for constitutional mechanisms to limit the power of the state and to guaranteecertain libertiesto individuals.25The principles of freedom and equality which are shared by liberalismand democracymake it possible to speak of some sort of relation role in Bobbio's between the two.Howeverrecognize myself in "Justice Liberty.democracywouldof necessity-in the sense of "historical necessity"ratherthan "logicalnecessity"-be connectedto liberalism. Is therea differencebetweenthe libertydefendedby liberalismandliberty understoodas one of the foundationsof democracy? Bobbio believes thatthe answerto this questioncontainsthe key to understanding sort of liberalany ism andits possiblerelationwithdemocracyandwith socialism. about equality. referring problems of us. to and whichhappens be the case of mostof the countries. certainactions withoutbeing obliged or impededby othersor by the . namely do governments notexist.Yturbe/ NORBERTOBOBBIO'S THEORYOF DEMOCRACY 383 way andprescribescertainvalues-is for Bobbio a possible butnot inevitable relation:undercertainconditions. the facultyof carryingout. theslogan On the institutionallevel. the liberal state accordingto which this has limited powers and functions. thatis. evenemotionally.it also shows that the discussion of this political problem is more than an academic exercise: it is a pressingpolitical questionof our day. we wishto consider thefirstproblem turns theliberal to one so I doctrine thesecond tothesocialist and doctrine.
a state principle the ruleof law-the constitutional where not only public powers are subordinated laws (constitutional to state/the rule of law in the weak or formalsense).32 is in Democracy a formof government whichpower in thehands the is of this citizens. the as or It is of liberty Rousseau gaveit thefamous who concept accepted by interpretato tionaccording whichliberty coincides withcollective self-determination.Individual in libertiesare guaranteed accordance liberalthought with only in a state of baseduponthe principle the ruleof law."according of to whichthe Statehaslimited powersandfunctions.that of whichdemands therebe limitsto the actionof the that "negative liberty. in Berlin'sterm.wherein constitutional mechanismslimitthepowersof thestateandimpede arbitrary illegitimate the and the exerciseof power.[it] opposes and Stateas muchas it doestheStatethattodaywe call social. the problemof libertyis.31 the whosepowers limited theso-called liberties are civil by andthe so-calledeconomic headed therightof property. In thissense.Liberty thefirstsenseis in other The a constant classicalliberal in of is theory. thepower notobeying of norms on thanthosethatonehasimposed oneself.whoexercise powerin anindirect through way elections based on majority Thefundamental rule. therefore principle.are thosethatmustbe protected thelaw. secondmeaning liberty used in modem democratic theory. of problem thisformof government does notconsistin thelimitation power. liberty autonomy. In the first sense.28 prototypes negative The or of liberty." of state.384 THEORYJune1997 / POLITICAL and as as of power thestate. civil liberties. problem of but The is the demandto limit all formsof legislationimposedfromabove:this is the libertyof the ancients.29 state socialstate.positiveliberty-politicalliberty-insofaras it meansparticirefersto the individual pationin politicaldecision-making. rule lable"(constitutional state/the of law in the strongsense).Democratic by tendsto liberty of of leadto thecreation organizations self-government.where"to be free"does not mean to be governed laws. liberties. theliberty modem times. who is not ."30 theabsolute Theprincipal of for doctrine therefore liberty is meaning liberty liberal the toconfront state.theliberal of state-this is to say. in its distribution. Against maximum ortheso-called is of liberalism the defender the minimum statewhosefunctions mustbe for limited theminimum to of necessary thesurvival thecommunity. by the In the struggle against absolute doctrine defends the state. Classiis a cal liberalism therefore specificconception the state.according Constant-andBerlin'spositive to freedom-or liberty understood autonomy self-determination. as such.butto give laws to oneself. by Bobbio's commitment liberalism to the firsttype of liberties not to to is and as liberalism aneconomic that to theory adheres themarket economy.but the laws are also to subordinated someconstitutional and in "inviorights.
democratic endsup beingthenatural the state continuation of in theliberal state state. Liberal and Democracy theProblem Equality of In Bobbio's defenseof procedural democracy."36 formal. writes: "For political theory. C. must its Bobbio that whenthiscommunity takedecisions concern members.34 Liberal method mental gradually havebeen becomeso interwoven if it is truethatthe rightsof liberty that. popuin to theseliberties unlikely last. civil in closelyinterconnected. thesensethatonlywiththedemocratic cantheliberal statescontinue beingliberal. the and to of poweris indispensable guarantee existence maintenance fundaidealsandthedemocratic "have liberties. withgainsandlosses. condition thecorrect fromthebeginning necessary the for of application the rulesof thedemocratic of game. historically the relevant problem notso much is self-determinationtheological philosophical or or thatof theindividual's (a as the self-determination the socialentityof whichthe of moralproblem) formspart."35 of havebeendefined political Oncethetwomeanings liberty in language. and liberalliberty democratic liberty becomenotonlycompatible. work.in Bobbio's is."33 individual freedomare In the historyof the modern state.so thatthefulfillment oneof themin thesocial of .Yturbe/ NORBERTOBOBBIO'S THEORYOF DEMOCRACY 385 as of at considered anisolated butasa member a community themoment unit. at the same time. the principleof the rule of law obliges the governorsnot to go beyondtheirpowerandto exercise it withinthe sphereof a system of writtennorms. popular participation politithis to cal poweris a deception. The of procedural definition democracy then. is to say. they but one alsoreinforce another: evolution therepresentative "the of modern State hasbeencharacterized an uninterrupted by struggle.37 In history. of in favorof theextension civilliberties political and liberty.it is alsotruethatthedevelopment democthe in instrument thedefenseof the racyhasbecomesuccessively principal rightsof liberty.linked the to and fundamental rightsof liberty to theruleof law: We can define democracyas that regime that permitsthe taking of decisions witi the maximumconsensus of citizens.liberalanddemocratic Without liberties.sincedemocratic are larparticipation power.so thatthe citizens can elect theirgovernorsand. certainlibertiesare necessary exercise democratic the of without guarantee correct power. happens regard what with to equality? There a tendency consider is to liberty equality values and as that in areinvariably conflict. Similarly. foundedon the principlesof liberty.
where"formal of becomes a synonym democracy" of "bourgeoisdemocracy" is contrasted and with "substantial or democracy" "social democracy."Bobbio does not cease to affirm that democracy is always formal democracy.An example of this is the concept of "social democracy"or the conceptualpair "formaldemocracy"/"substantial democracy. the classical liberaldoctrinewould tend to search for a sort of minimumandfornal equality. which presupposesmore thana minimumstate. but not social equality and social justice. equalityis definedbasically of as equality of political power.equalitywould be a value for people as social beings.in the sense that a certaindose of social equality and . Accordingto this.promulgatelaws and adopt political decisions (political democracy). as the equal opportunity citizens to participatein the governmentof their society.and not by referringto the "who's"and the "how's"or the "procedures" democof racy. we also find in Bobbio's writingsa seriouspreoccupation with equalityandjustice.In his treatment these questions. has complicatedthe discussion of democracyas a form of governmentandled to confusion and oversimplification.Democracyis put forwardnow not only as a form of government."where democracyis defined by the content and values from which the governmentshould take its inspiration. When confrontedwith the sorts of statementsthat are typical of the tradition socialistthought. Bobbio never gives up his formal. when it is conceived not only as a mechanismto choose or authorize governments.thereis an oscillationbetween treatingthem as exclusive demandsof socialism or making them demands of liberal democracy. This means that democracy only guarantees political equality. the problem of poverty.and procedural definitionof democracyand rejects as erroneousthe concept of "socialdemocracy.386 THEORYJune1997 / POLITICAL sphere appearsto limit the fulfillmentof the other.while the doctrineswhich defend social equalitymight restrainliberties. liberalismand democracyenterinto a state of tension: the conflicts between the defenders of liberalism and the defendersof democracyoccur when democracyis understoodas substantial democracy. of those who have nothing. that is.but as a definite social order. of of but as the equal distribution goods. not Whendemocracyis understood only as theequaldistribution power. togetherwith the defense of liberalfreedomsandformal of democracy." However.in which two fundamental principlesof the liberalstate areinspired:equalitybeforethe law (equalprotection)andequalityof rights.minimum.While libertywould be a value for people as individuals. It is fulfilled at its basic level by equal universalsuffrage. Fromthe point of view of procedural democracy. but also as including a certain economic equality.that is. Historically.38 Equalityis compatiblewith the libertyof liberaldoctrineif it is understood as equalityin liberty.
" to it is perfectly without to legitimate saythat equality (with respect reciprocal power)thereis no freedom. thisdoes notmean between freedom equality notbe possible and thata certain integration may fromthe pointof view of the procedural of The interpretation democracy. and on theother. of Bobbio'sreflections these most on of critical and problems philosophical political theircomtheoryelucidate but to plexity.Yturbe/ NORBERTOBOBBIO'S THEORYOF DEMOCRACY 387 for of socialjusticewouldbe necessary thefunctioning anydemocracy. If there anissuethat is exhibits Bobbio's uneasiness vacillation. the between democratic and analyzes tensions Theseare. "While there wouldbe no writesBobbio."'41 search equality powerforall tendsto for of sincethewaythatpoweris distributed a societycontribin increase liberty. Bobbio . BOBBIO'SUNDERSTANDING THETENSIONS OF BETWEEN DEMOCRATIC THEORYAND PRACTICE A.on theory practice. and the thatwhichsustains maintains valueof liberty. or of utesto thegreater lesserliberty its members."that without freedom thereis no equality."42 II. pointing the characteristics that the democracy constitute focusof his analysis. relation of But somein the field of thesepreconditions equality. analysis of therelation between and conflicts democracy socialism with occasionally hiscommitment procedural to the of democracy. backbone histheory. even if a for democracy Bobbioformally requires only politicalequality. Democracyand Socialism Up to this point. as of in can latter be conceived the "form government whichall arefreein The so faras theyareequal. to to particular regimemayneedto attend othertypesof equality function between The liberalism democracy and becomes troubleeffectively. may and it be thatof therelation between and Bobbio's democracy socialism.the relation and and amongliberalism democracy socialism. I have given an outlineof Bobbio'sview on the of to of development the theoryof democracy. comparison thedevelopment actual the of of democracies from the ideal construction democracy.butfromthe point of view of its politicalformula: popularsovereignty. do notpretend solvethem. one hand. Bobbioalso However. On some occasions. occasions."40 Actually.Bobbiohas tendedto considerthe value of equalityas democratic whileon other that as something goesbeyond liberty. pointin saying.39 is with "on that Liberalism compatible democracy condition democracy from is notconsidered thepointof viewof its egalitarian ideal.
Bobbioassumes hitherto democracy developed a that Although no has in society otherthanthe market society. realist the assumption cautions notto us do awaywiththemarket. with underthe as standing latter a political a project entailing basicset of policiesand programs socialjustice.However. sincewe areaware of the pervasive effectof the market overdemocratic development. thisrespect.43 WhileSartori liberal democracies valueliberty that overequality regards as the only possibleversionof democracy eitherreal or idealterms). additional regarding two concerns arise fromBobbio's reflections thelinkbetween on and democracy market society. must we the guard against market In doingawaywithdemocracy. theother."" creates tension into This a between democOn racyandthe market. (in a Bobbioputsforward version "social of a in democracy. based thelawof supply demand on amoral. means "thevotecan this that alsobeconverted merchandise. the mayendup suffocating democracy. logic of the of The he market.Bobbio'sreplyto Sartori's crisis"of to turns thelogicof themarket themainchallenge be faced as democracy to societies: by democratic The reasonbehindthe moralcrisiscan be foundin the fact thathitherto political has or democracy lived together. onehand. thereduction everything merchandise."project whichthe rightsof liberty-the necessary condition anypossibleformof democof with racy-may be brought together a schemeof socialrights. Bobbio's mostambitious project hasbeenthatof bringing formal together democracy socialism. Bobbio asks whether "vital" the embrace between democracy the market and may turnout to be a "deadly" whether market one.45 Inthefaceof this. playstheroleof a for it value-judgment. has beenforcedto live together withthe capitalist system. produce to a just society. (b)correct effectsof of and the themarket a of through scheme socialrights. . remark the "moral on pointbriefly.388 THEORYJune1997 POLITICAL / that cannot flourish a socialcontext in assumes democracy other than of that Whilein Sartori's a market view thisrecognition society. and and on of to consequently.whatshould do as democrats? we Bobbio forward puts a twofold answer: limitthemarket theextent thelogicof themarket (a) to that is keptwithintheboundaries its ownsphere.he tests this assumption asking by the whether latteris a necessary condition the former.canpervade democracy to the point"where up everyand a thingis tradable therefore merchandise". Bobbio is simplya historical I shalldealwiththis fact. believes. there beundemocratic for market may societies but no examples a nonmarket of On democracy.[Capitalism a systemthatdoesnotrecognize law otherthanthatof the a is] is which initselfcompletely market.
Second.Insucha caseit wouldno 's longer thetaskof democrats be (concerned withthewho andthehow's only but with the of the allocation process).Yturbe NORBERTO / BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY 389 OF the minimal First.Bobbio'sliberalsocialismo mustbe understood his as beliefin a historical movement fromliberty socialrights.48 short."47 between compromise politicalliberalism un(liberty rights)andsocialism. democracy needto drawon someof thevaluesof the may on tradition namely its scheme socialrights.the senseof Bobbio's turns the assumption to proposal that the tradition the necessary are although valuesof the liberal foundations to this a democracy. thisconjunction whichshouldbe understood a ism andsocialism"liberalsocialismo. means by In he of socialrights."' as a betweentraditions.To this extentthe socialpoliciesandprodemocracy-arerendered gramsof the socialisttradition couldbe considered preconditions the as of of of democpreconditions democracy.in the framework a formal for racy. rightsof liberty-the preconditions of futile. rejects Sartori's thatsocialrights meaningless. compromise synthesis. derstood a meansto correct effectsof free-market as the activity. that its buildup Forthispurpose.49theface In of this. with calls accordance theItalian between liberaltradition.without equality. refers thedefenseof thewelfare to statefrom a doubleperspective: of a democrat that who sees social rightsas the of of preconditions thepreconditions democracy. of the left (concerned pushing aims of socialjusticebeyondthe social minimum) pursue moreegalitarian to a society. not as a and pragmatic combination. thatof thesocialist and for whomsocialjusticeis theultimate valueof a well-ordered society. of For the socialist too. base In thefaceof thebreakdown communist of Bobbiois unequivocal regimes. are and fundamental in education. at Bobbiohimselfconcedesthatattempts conjoining bothtraditionssuch as "liberalsocialismo" social-liberalism-are and artificial construcvalueis unclear: tionswhosetheoretical "that liberalism socialismare and notincompatible.socialrights nothing needs areelevated rights vitiate are but that to that peopleandmakethemoverindulgent. nothing about forms waysof their the and says yet possible Bobbiosuggeststhatthis conjunction shouldbe seen as a conjunction. In these terms. In this way. Bobbio. Bobbio. health. aninevitable to as andnecessary of process giventheexpansion thepopular of democracy.the rightsof libertynever . view are For Sartori modern a and societymustbe competitive meritocratic. doesnotmean theycanassure preservation.it couldbe the case thatthe demands socialjusticecouldbe met the for to beyond levelrequired democracy work. socialrights employment. these On Bobbio grounds. in stating anysocialist that project should basedon democratic be methods: "whenshortcuts towardsocialismare taken.
virtue by democracy is the in hasa future: "Democracy notenjoying bestof health theworld today. democratic still over and over is nonetheless to be preferred anyother."53 and the of Tounderstand evaluate significance thechanges undergone by Bobbiotraces profileof variations theconcept democthe in of democracy."51 these terms.If real to whileaspiring a freeandjustsocietyinstead socialism.in World countries formal is spiteof the factthatin Third "purely democracy of 'no-men' 'men. to the absenceof the minimalconditionsof is the social justice.Bobbiochallengesthe Left to advance aimsof socialjustice. rather. especially option revolution. thefulfillment the that thesecriteria. it andindeedhasneverenjoyed in thepast. Bobbioprefers speakof "transformations" showing that. the For of is one.thatis. spiteof-or perhaps. definedby a seriesof at untilarriving theminimum a that opposites. with democracy it assuredthe full if so socialismcould be compatible the exercise of libertyrightsthrough extensionof social rights.52 andin spiteof thefact into notcapable transforming due thatin these countries. challenge democracy means to the andidealsareavailable confront sameproblems gavebirth the that to On communist challenge. is to say. the Thus. racy.underthe rulesof democracy. deniedtherights of wouldbethatof finding the "which of liberty. definition.in satisfying structural characteristics the of modelin the conceptual democratic are sense. Bobbio.the idealsof democracy at in stake.390 THEORYJune1997 / POLMICAL of Just and occurred when return.democracy rendered largelymeaningless. formula condenses the formalor procedural of conception democracy.'. Amongthe minimum that criteria haveto existso thata particular as regimemaybe recognized a are rules democracy certain procedural orrulesof thegamethatlaydownthe the ways in whichcollectivedecisionsareto be taken:answering double who to In of question decidesandaccording what procedures. the valuesmadeexplicitin the modelof democracy its or call prescriptive ideal sense. Promises"of Democracy B."'S0 as theconjunction liberalism democracy individual universal suffrage guaranteed libertyandpoliticalparticipation.in of-these transformations. theseregimes-to referto In democracies . Thereare regimesthatwe can properly basedon theirconcrete features. concept democracy acomplex Itis constructed of and by way of a network notionsandcategories. The "Unfulfilled is Againstthe notionthatcontemporary democracy in crisis-in a crisis thatwouldlead us to expect"animminent of such a nature collapse"to of democracy.butnordoesit haveone foot in the grave.
assessthe extentto whichrealregimesmighthave He fulfilledsuchexpectations. disillusioned. autocracy dictatorship. And.54 democratic development However. to of political Arising of fromthemodern as project democracy-which beconsidered a family may of modern of reinterpretationstheconcept-an idealor a normative image Thisidealof democracy.Bobbiohasset himselfthetaskof measuring comparing and the distance betweenidealandrealdemocracy. for Hisanalysis-in his ownterms-is "neither norlessa realistic more descripin tionof whathappened theprocess democratizationthepastcentury.but closer to what can still be If reasonably expectedfromthe present. the implausible. in In the Bobbioundertakes taskof analyzing expectations the project the of of to modern democracy. re-endorses basicvaluesentailed the the in to democratic project. and seau. andotherphilosophers thinkers. attempting findalternative in whichit couldstill ways the be carried Hisobjectis to correct shortcomings actual out. idealor the has the this project democracy developed of throughout modern around age fromthephilosophical set of values. failed development to satisfymostof theexpectations entailed theseimages. you want.drawing of Rousconceptions Spinoza. of democratic mustdeliverits promises. of is One of the fundamental premises Bobbio'sthought thatthereare valuesentailed therulesof political in The certain democracy. pointed certain evilsthat public of was thedevelopment democracy to correct to thedirection sense and and of democratic itself.' founditselfin thepathof 'brute In thisway." age. .Theseprocedures basis of universal suffrage together reflect valuesthatgivedemocracy ownmeaning." valuesentailed the of the in democratic of the of project themodern from "lessons theclassics.He infersthe "promises democracy. originality thistask The of lies in the fact thathe does notreducethe pastvaluesandexpectations of to or democracy "wishful thinking" confinethemto a particular historical context. conceivedas 'nobleand has facts. what of to Bobbiocallsthe"promises" democracy.'"55 elevated. of democracy whichencompasses emerges. well as fromthe social and as that movements gavebirth theprocess democratization. for thosewillingto remain loyalto theethicof science. of in a dispassionate if illustration.Democracy not perhaps in the ways expectedby classicaldemocratic theory. bitter. to looking history guidance. thefaceof this.butobligatory. the idealmodelof democracy is Bobbio must redefine model.Yturbe NORBERTO / BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY 391 OF nucleus theminimum of definition-decisions madeonthe are theminimum with majority rule.to thedisinterested of in research the difficulties whichdemocracy. regimes. the its it rendering themost desirable atanyrate leastundesirable) of government serving the form and (or its over to demonstrate superiority its historical or alternatives.
The variation offeredby the different sourcesof modemdemocratic a thought promised societyin which. inplaceof theoldintermediate of and were bodies. this For reasonit hadgradually sketched theproject a political out of representation the mandate: elected the prohibiting imperative wouldhaveto representative listento the collectiveinterest suchanddesistfromsatisfying as only the interestsof his particular electors.Bobbioarrives a redefinition theidealmodel. 3.a multitude formal informal organizations bom.Leavingbehinda disenchanted of view of reality. Themodemdemocratic doctrine the of promised triumph the general overthe multiplicity particular of publicinterest private interests. the material democratic societiesevidencesthe permanence an effectivedisequilibrium the of in distribution power. in actualdemocracies. believesthatthosevaluesandexpecto can of tations be adapted facethepresent The challenges democracy. interbetween individual thestate.however. Alongwiththat. contemporary raciesarepluralist democracies. of By at of followingthispath. Aimingattheequaldistribution political of power through progresthe of sive expansion suffrage universal until was suffrage achieved.392 POLMCAL THEORY/ 1997 June he unlikesomeof his contemporaries. factis. this groups 2."6 aim is of thiscomparison to explain characteristics we findtodayin the the that so-calledreal democracies (empirically existingdemocratic regimes)that to or the wouldappear contradict betray principles anidealdemocracy.theideaof a purepolitical representation and the triumph thegeneral of interest a remained project paper. thedefinitive bodies superseding theranks intermediate The that of theancien r6gime. democracy supposed culmination theindividualist of of to be thepolitical conception societyand and of and history.But the prohibition the imperative of mandate was avoidedand emptiedof meaningby those manydifferent whoseexistence withthe lackof fulfillment the coincides organizations of firstpromise.Noneof thedemocthe themselves and posing is raciesactually existing anindividualist democdemocracy. democratic a movements promised formof political in whichpower society 6liteswould But constitution all contemporary of disappear. Rousseau envisioned disappearance had the of the intermediate groupsbut. . partiesand other existthatcontradict expectation. on givingway to theclaimsof individual group and interests. the of promise powerfor all wasreplaced thereappearance thepowerof by of thefew in new guises.betweenindividuals collective and neither factions intermediations nor existed: was power. In his 7heFuture Democracy Bobbiospellsoutthe six promises of that werenotfulfilled:57 1.
in a number ways. in all contemporary democratic there on levelsand regimes.who.otherswerenot so muchpromises misplaced as hopes. fromthatof thecitizens. Thedefenders democracy of formulated conviction cultivated the and thehopethattheexerciseof political rightswouldbe distributed equallyor the practice participation democratic woulditselfturnindividuals in of life intocitizens. Fighting of against thepastforms political the subordination. the . various in differentforms. littlemorethansymbolic participationby thetypical citizenin thepolitical process. idealof transparency had the of The has a relative partial and roomforbroad threatening and realization. Thedemocratic to decision promised submit.reach arena political the of and to A decision arethussubmitted thedemocratic method. several Furthermore. preventing or hindering publiccontrol power.andwerethusillusionsfromthe outset. from the and governor. all 5. myriad social of aside from and beyondthe politicalscene. and inefficient. continueto make authorities. Bobbio's remark regarding promises that"somecouldnotobjecsuch is tively be kept.in the realityof contemporary life democratic regimes. or the of determine.onlycertain questions importance or of thelives of individuals."58 wonderswhethercertainunfulfilled He wouldrender democratic a promises regime undemocratic. without method.the disillusionof the uneducated citizen. thepromise thecitizen But of educated through verypractice the in of participation democratic became. in thereality thedemocratic But of thecomplexof intersubjective of for regimesthathaveactually existed. democratization the statedid influenced the democratic The of by of notmeandemocratization sociallife. modern doctrine into the democratic projected the future promiseof the definitive of of or of But superseding thearcana imperii. mayregroup We thepromises fromtwodifferent with perspectives. and who for this very reasontendsto becomealienated fromdemocratic life. someaspects these. for decisions thesebeing having important consequences sociallife. theaimof measuring the of seriousness theirlackof fulfillment: thepointof view of power. collective by this and all thecitizens(eventhough mightbe indirect takeplacein several that stages). 6.everyimportant question mightbearon theirsociallife andon relations. distort process democratic decision-making. remain. governed. typesof realpolitical processes seemtoshowdangerous trends toward intermittent.still othersas it turned cameup out.centersof invisibleor opaquepowerthat condition.is notcapable exercising of of political rights effectively.Yturbe NORBERTO / BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY 393 OF doctrine for 4. againstunforeseen obstacles. thesecrecy invisibility power. leaving areas of opacity.
the citizenslack the minimum If. of Despitetheseriousness theproblems. realdemocracy too the is farawayfromits ideal. skills and education participate. is the one thatoffendsits spirit most. seemsto be that efforts democratization be sustained efforts education enable at must by at to political Failure provide education thesecond participation. assume to to their to citizenship. to fulfilltheotherpromises renders democratic a regime"lessdemocratic. citizens. however. corrupts not but Secrecy It democracy. Of all the its but unfulfilled it promises. thegovernor.394 POLMTICAL THEORYJune1997 / of if From pointof viewof power. anycase. multiple but may and however. killsit. spiteof havingwandered far fromthe in so promised model. failure fulfillthepromises the to of theclassical modelof democracy notnecessarily Bobbioto the does lead judgmentthat real regimesno longerdeservethe name of democracy.In thisrespect." thefailure fulfillthepromise to the of regarding visibility poweris a mortal threat democracy. Bobbioregarded visibility poweras a the of unfulfilled of many crucially important democratic promise Publicregimes. ideal does Democracy havea future-evenif it is a different one fromthathopedfor by the classicsof democratic thought-basically becausethe answers the questions to who andhow still meetdemocratic criteria.59 Fromthissameperspective. to "does transform. can happen have causedemocratic procedures beenconfined toocircumscribed to a space the of orbecause exercise as wellas thestruggle power notyetpublic for are Bobbioradically andvisible.the bulwark againstpowerabuseis the presenceof a plurality of For "independent organizations. Bobbio's the of prognosis is regarding future democracy thatits possibilities are by no meansexhausted. It meaningless. escapepublicscrutiny control of (suchas thedecisions corpohas for rations). centers power." thepluralist of the theory democracy."60 course. a methodthataims to involvethe citizensin public decision-making.democracy in a the is. Fromthepointof view of the governed. way in whichsuchorganizations theirdecisions of no importance.diverts the its its natural defeats aim. does notmorenorless gravely wound vitalorgans.eachof theunfulfilled In promises suggests apure that ideal . fundamental sense.thisis dueto thefactthata great are manydecisions madewithout This eitherbefollowingdemocratic procedure. be agents their of own thendemocracy be rendered will decisions. which. take is What to one matters their is as of ability curb another wellasthepower government Thusthemainfeature a "polyarchy" its beingconstituted of is agencies. opposesDahl'sview. by of whosedecisions affectthepublic. Onlyrecently Dahlshownhis concern theextension the of to democratic institutions governmental than processes other ones. at ityis a minimal foranyserious goal Where failure attempt democratization. to such is mortal to threat democracy.Forthe latter.
Bobbio. . doesnotmean there anantithesis and betweenreal democracy the values entailedin the promisesof the Bobbio's realism disenchantment democratic and project. Furthermore. precisely.In his of Bobbio the identifies prerequisites rigorous analysis democracy. to a to rather he to showsus where seekthe"polar stars" should we focusonif we arewilling to solvethem: Justice Liberty. instance failure to of that to fulfillthepromises democracy corresponds a genuine problem of In hasto be confronted reformulations thedemocratic by project. lies not in the answer it brings about. practical to the but to pointto the complexity its challenges: relevance a quesof "the of tion ."6' a philosopher. CONCLUSION of in workdoesmorethan The"model democracy" Bobbio's describe the of it that mechanisms thatformof government. is.Yturbe/ NORBERTOBOBBIO'S THEORYOF DEMOCRACY 395 each of is of autonomy not. is notthetaskof thephilosopher anticipate future. or that As Bobbio is reluctant putforward set of prescriptions solveproblems. pointsto thedevelopments to in musttakeplacein the social structure set democracy motion. "Introduzione.theface In porary of these problems. that that is socialandeconomical requisites.IX.froma different angle. is politicalphilosophy unableto put forward set of a It solutions.realizable. . that." (Turin: Einaudi. in revealing thereis a problem there.Theselimitations consequences reduce efficacy the the veryprocessof democratization paradoxically. realityshows a reduction the influenceof individuals The unfulfilled of have collectivedecisions. . but. in its being that that formulated. of the "promises" reveals.the little influencethat to on that citizensactually manage exercise decisions affecttheirlives. the that societiesarelikelyto faceon theroadto democratization. in of Each orpower participation thecitizens thedecision-making by process.thatis. necessary to Evenif democracy supposed satisfycertain is to for democracy flourish. and NOTES in Ifuturode la democrazia 1. regarding democracydo notdrivehimto reject butto underline obstacles contemit. so-called promises democracy on in decisions affect that todowithlimitations citizens' participationmaking of of are them.whereit has beenbelieved pretended it doesnotexist. withconditions fact. 1991).as such. N. oneway in on or another.
Bobbio. Thetheoretical models fundamental are from extracted thehistory conceptual outlines.1989)where out the Bobbio points that themes concentrated there upon "constitute fragments a general of of theory politics.forthosewhoparticipate themalingof collective in decisions in everycase. 1984).orfrom to Cf. Esencia valordela democracia y (Barcelona-Buenos Labor."Antichi e moderni: Norberto Bobbio la 'lezione classici'"(Ancients moderns: dei and Norberto Bobbio and the lesson of the classics). 6. nI 1979). in Per una teoria generale della politica Scritti dedicati a Norberto Bobbio(Contribution a general to theory politics.1986]). example. See. of thought transformed idealmodels. 8. N.see N. clarify concepts. thesensethatit is thecitizens in are whogive lawsto themselves. Cf. Cf. N. 1981). that of Considering anoudine modern can from democracy beread Pericle's Epitaph. 1980). oneof whomin voting. Bobbio. Bonanate M. and whereBobbio contrasts position thoseof Galvano his with DellaVolpe Togliatti these and on fundamental themes: Bobbio. world). each particular individuals. VIII. 5. Bovero. . Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia del Diritto (October- December pp. Bobbio viewsacontinuity between them.FD) (Turin:Einaudi. governments. no. democrazia "La realistica Giovanni di Sartori" (Giovanni Sartori's Realistic Democracy).A Defenseof theRulesof the Game[Oxford:PolityPress. (Minnesota: PolityPress. for 10. Cf. Bobbio. 24). and thatbasedon theprinciple heteronomy. (Turin: Einaudi. analyzethe arguments. Bobbio. the on and freedom power. "The mustnotbe understood a synonym a collective as people" for bodythat"decides" as a whole. and Bobbio). N. clarifies whatthestudy theauthors thepastmeans him:it is notso 7-9.Essaysdedicated Norberto of to ed. Politica cultura e and (Politics culture) (Turin: Einaudi. societ. H. are. to be written. forexample. of according whichlawscomefromabove. Per una teoria generale della politica (Democracy The anddictatorship. Aires: 1934). P. L. Sartori. to 4." thesupremacy theLaw(the of ruleof law).396 THEORY/ 1997 June POLITICAL 2. Bovero (Florence: Passigli. See also the wide ranging debate inspired his essayson the lackof a political by in theory Marxism ontheabsence altematives representative and of to as democracy aform government of in a free society:"Esisteuna dottrina marxistica dello stato?" "Quali and alternative alla in Quale democrazia rappresentativa?" socialismo? N. FD]. Bobbioy M. Bobbio. also Michelangelo their See e Bovero. G. TeoriaPolitica 4. I1futuro della democrazia (hereafter. reconstruct systems. 1955).in opposition Sartori statesthatthereis nothing a "very to who but slight resemblance" between ancient modern and democracy."Premessa" in (Premise).Theoryof Democracy Revisited Chatam (NewYork: House. Max e WeberI'analisi mondo del moderno Weber theanalysis modern and of (Max ed. individual of liberty liberty themodern (the to according Constant). nature limits state and of power) (Turin: Einaudi. governo. Bobbio ed. 1976)("Is Therea Marxist Doctrine theState?" "What of and Alternatives There Representative Are to in Democracy?" Which Socialism? [Oxford: PolityPress. In thisway. 5 (The Futureof Democracy."Lateoria delloStatoe del potere" of in (Theory Stateandpower). 9. where Bobbio of of for as much historical a to study anattempt determine fundamental the the themes.Kelsen. Stato.thefundamental 1973 of are with concepts Aristode compared thenatural lawmodels fromHobbes Kant. discussion democracy dictatorship. 7." yet 3.II modelo and into For in giusnaturlistico" (The Natural Law Model). Societa e statonellafilosofia politica moderna in (Society state modern and political philosophy) (Milan: Saggiatore.73-93). counts one. participation thedisapproval and of in whatis oftenrecognized ourdaysas "political and apathy. Kelsen between extreme two distinguishes forms govenmment: inwhich of that collective decisions autonomous. 1986).1987). 1 (1988): 155.Rossi (Turin: Einaudi. 1987] [hereafter.
set is expressed many. Schumpeter." Democrazia. Majority is notexempted extensive studies thecomplicated to and devotes of rule. in N. 1956).See J.La visita de Bobbio a Valparaiso.FD. 43-62). 55 (63). We in findthisambiguity muchof American so-called liberal thus notion philosophy: Walzer's of . A." idealsare alsonecessary: course "Of idealsarenecessary. Bobbio. 152-4). defects. of without and See assembly citizens deliberating intermediaries.N. 18. Cf.La visita de Bobbio a Valparaiso of visit Norberto Bobbio's toValparaiso) and (Foundation future democracy. Thisdoesnotmean theprinciple themajority exclusive thedemocracies to nor rule fromlimitations thatit alonedefinesa democratic and regime.. realistica Giovanni 153." FD.Sartori. (Democracy eighty nine). of 21. Bobbio. Fundamentoyfuturo de la democracia. 1986)."Liberth" del vol. Bobbiohavebuiltup theirtheories uponthe common ground that of as between definition democracy assumesdemocracy a competition Schumpeter's whoseaim is to obtain and political groups popular support through elections. R. Bobbio." 16.CT:YaleUniversityPress. to face such Socialism and undera certain of rules.Ibid.M. inadequacy theonlytwoinstitutions direct (in democracy. direct of of the the democracy particular. II ed.Yturbe NORBERTO / BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY 397 OF of it is definition democracy:is revised enriched. maynotinvolve problems compatibility in "Democrazia Ottantanove" Estudos can them." even witha hintof "social-democratic" the toward welfare Rooseveltian policyoriented principles in general. The Nature and Limits of State Power.35. Bobbio. Avangados no." and of 14. 10 (Universidade SaoPaulo. Bobbio.andS. N. (Liberty) Enciclopedia Novecento. 1979). Bobbio discusses socialist criticisms "representation. Theory Democracy of of and of lies theories democracy in a difference traditions perspectives contemporary emphaof that of between sizingoneof theaspects democracy. Democracy (London: 1976). of 23. Dahl. was.Polyarchy:Participationand Opposition(New Haven. "Democraziarappresentativa de- in in mocrazia and diretta. "La di 15. FD. Ottantanove. 17. 19. 1981). Bobbio. N. N. Bovero. ideathatthe difference the G. vetoonbinding interests).A Prefaceto Democratic Theory (Chicago: University Chicago Press. AllenandUnwin." representative democracy (in mandates therepresentationparticular and of and the particular. At the beginning the sectionentitled "TheAppealto Values. thereferendum). Bobbio problem majority See limitee aporie. Bobbio. The between main Revisited. howcananyone But ignore great the struggles overidealswhichhaveproduced rules?" 41). 22. Fundamentoyffuturode la democracia. C." FD.There notoneortheminimum Bobbio's work. "progressive. Sartori. considered liberal. Majority Minority). 33 (46). formulas in so expressed various throughout of 12. 1971). a mere of procedures notenough arouse by to anactiveconsensus toward democratic because haveactive "to institutions. Stato. 144-7 (Democracyand Dictae torship. de 4. democrazia Sartori. "Democrazia 43. Dahl. befound M. use.998. Thetermliberal English tendsto be usedin thesenseof "liberal-democratic" and/or and in current Forinstance. Lombardini (Bologna: Mulino." Bobbiotakesinto the that consideration fear.1990). that of is 20. 13. set competition Capitalism. in 25. these (FD."Laregoladi maggioranza: maggioranza e and in rule: and minoranze ("The majority Limits problems" Democracy. 29-54("Representative Direct Democracy. (Valparaiso: Edeval. N. III (Rome:Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana. societa Per una teoria generale della politica.Bovero. governo.45 (55). citizens. and and 11. Offe. 24. N. 40.
1991).on the contrary. Despite this vacillation.. 38. 998. 29.in I dikmnu del liberalsocialismo (The dilemmas of liberalsocialism). 33. ismo. 40. Bobbio. "Introducci6n. Terza democrazia.1977) andLe ideologie e ilpotere in crisi.Definizioni minime e relazioni possibli" (Liberalism. 29. LD. N.modifies it. N. 36..398 POLITICAL THEORY/ June 1997 liberalism. N. 1969).Thirdway and thirdforce) (Florence:Le Monhe nier. Berlin. Bovero. ed. tends to coincide with that of social democracy. comunismo. See M. 1994). 30. Bobbio.Enciclopediadel Novecento. LD. In his essay "Liberth. Bobbio.socialism." 34. socialsim. 35. "TWoConcepts of Liberty. Sbarberi(Rome: La Nuova ItaliaScientifica. creatorof socialism for its liberalcharacter. 45. "LibertA."Justiceand Liberty"was the slogan of the noncommunist and antifascistmovement Giustiziae Liberta." and in partcriticizes it. University Press. 25.F. ed. Cf. 48.when Bobbio refersto "socialdemocracy. Mura.or whether. e Le 41. 1981).31.or the rightof individualsagainstthe power of the state. "Lademocraziarealisticadi Giovanni Sartori" (GiovanniSartori'srealistic democracy). 11 (Rome:Istitutodell'EnciclopediaItaliana. C. Withoutgoing into the difficultproblemof tryingto define socialism."in Four Essays On Liberty (Oxford: Oxford Bobbio deals with this distinction. communism. and (The socialismo. viae terzaforza crisisof ideologies power." Socialismo liberal.socialismo.but ratherthe eliminationof certainforms of oppressionwhich are based upon a certaintype of basicallyeconomic inequality." I diknem del libersocialed 26.ed. Ibid. 31. Bobbio. N.Only then can one discuss whetheror not the protectionof the fundamental it libertynecessarilyimplies the freedomof the market. Pluralism.. LD) (Milan:FrancoAngeli.minimumdefinitionsand possible relations). and the developmentof free rightsof enterprise. N. democracy. Rosselli (Madrid:Pablo Iglesias. Sbarberi. Ibid. Bovero. "Liberalismo. Pluralismo. Bobbio.A preoccupation Bobbio's writings is whethera free marketis necessary in orderto protectindividualliberties and develop positive liberty. ibid. 996. in Tradizione eredithdel liberalsocialismo. Bobbio. is possible in to distinguishtwo liberalisms. M. Cf. democrazia.democracy. 45. "Eguaglianza" (Equality). I. Bobbio. aboutwhich there seems to be less agreementeach day. Mura. Liberalismoe democrazia(hereafter 28.understoodas "personal" property. N. 27. for example. 23. the "liberalsocialism" doctrinethat defends an anti-Marxist in Cf. For example. "LibertA. . 7. Bovero.inspiredin the ideas of CarloRosselli. 1985). 157. visitade Bobbio Valparaiso. 42. 16. 32. LD. N. 39. yfuturode la democracia." La Fundamento a 37. N. It is necessary to distinguishbetween the right to property.vol. Cf." points to the of preconditions the well functioningof the democraticmethodandnot to a specific social order. "Introduzione.economic liberalismand politicalliberalism.it is necessaryto stateat least thatthe principleof equality defended by socialism has nothing to do with the homogenizationof society: politically an equality in everythinghas never been expounded. 43.. ideologie ilpoterein crisi. 998. V. Bobbio. ibid.
G. cartegio" (Correspondence). In that the seemsto fitquite puts democracy better. Inhisearly writings. Bobbio.N. and (ed. and 46. by therevision socialism understanding (ii) socialism 58).7. Cf. However. idea if with of will are is replaced theconcern theproblem howdemocracy survive itsinstitutions by The tradition theoretical disundemocratic. 50. thesametoken.. public idealon the end of socialinequality Tocqueville's and 54.Sartori (Milan: 49. n dialogo con Norberto Bobbio oggi (Liberal socialism. Sisifo17(September 44. V. draws idealfrom to of Dahlseemsto putforward a the "lessons the classics" face it to the present context. cartegio. upside down)(Turin: Stampa. 55. of method beyond parliamentary Butby thetimeof TheFuture Democracy.theidealof democracy Sartori forward of wellhis concept "selective oligarchy..91. of of find placein thecontext a particular 53. Bovero. F." thelatter in order be "good. drawn fromthe factual of observation the societiesthatfit his of description the processes This howa society's definition "polyarchy." mayexplain of democratic from departs process ideal from of the"polyarchy" type." 57.Anderson. on 2&3:293-308 quotefound page295. sinequanonof a nonauthoritarian 47. text Liberalsocialism: Tradition heritage). FD. "Adesso la democrazia sola"(Democracy nowalone)in Socialismo a is e 52. a must as to meritocracy. "Questioni Democrazia" 1989): 7.59. 45. is Cosae (What democracy) Rizzoli. 59. placethesocialist playsin Bobbio's increasingly of of the out shifts from formal course space democracy (pointed asaproblem subject thelimited to than and issue of rather as a solution) thesubstantial of thedefense thesocialrights welfare institutions. N. (p. Dahlassumes-as Bobbio role: plays is a normative as wellas a concrete whileBobbio this ideal reality. Anderson. Bobbio. Bobbio. fact. expectation thespread thedemocratic and "Un 294. Dahl. Ibid. Mura.Yturbe NORBERTO / BOBBIO'S THEORY DEMOCRACY 399 OF of in di (Problems democracy). R. N. Bobbio today). liberale. viewstheidealof democracy susceptible as to By from for if must to modification it departs reality." does-that thenotion democracy a double of it 56. Democracyand Its Critics. R. Cf. 58.butnothowit departs thevaluesandexpectations theideal Sartori modelof democracy. Ibid. theseterms. 1989).Thesecomments Bobbio's their to related therealpossibilities democracy's of discussion survival. BobbioandP.. 7 (17). 3 (18)." democracy proceed an"elective that "Un Teoria Politica1989.ibid.1993).) liberalism socialism beeneffected twodifferent and has in between ways:(i) thatthisrelation as of to socialism the completion of by by the integration socialism liberalism understanding of as liberalism thecondition by liberal democracy. FD. democracy beredefined according thepresent In Sartori seemsto suggest theclosertheidealgetsto thereality that of experience.130. . Dialoguing with Norbert ed. Bobbio P. A. of Bobbio shows in M. Sbarberi Thedilemmas liberalsocialism. N. Inhisrecent "Introduzione" (Introduction.27-36. capovolta (Utopia (Utopia upside down)in L'utopia 51. Bosetti (L'Unith."L'utopia capovolta" La 1990). this the arena. polyarchy. N. Bobbiorefersto Rousseau's of culture for the throughout bodyof society. to as of Bobbio often referred socialism anextension thedemocratic 48. Inhis recent Democrazia that should a democracy suggesting from descriptive standpoint putsforwardviewof democracy and the meaning beconsidered electivepolyarchy from prescriptive aselective an one.
1987) and co-editor of La tenacidad dela poliftica(Mexico: IIF-UNAM.N. . potere maschera" down).1981.400 THEORY/ June 1997 POLITICAL in in capovolta (utopia upside power).62. 118). 61. 1981) and Charles de Montesquieu(Mexico: UNAM. Bobbio.1995). Qual Socialismo?. 1985) the editor of Teorfade la Historia(Mexico: TerraNova.She is authorofLaexplicacion de la historia(Mexico: UNAM. Corina Yturbeis a memberof the Instituteof Philosophical Research in the National AutonomousUniversityof Mexico. 168 (Which Socialism?. L'utopia "Il (Masked 60.
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