Political Philosophy Against Populism: Democratic Theory of Justice as Justification of Human Rights and Citizenship in Political Liberalism

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This chapter proposes the political philosophy of John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas as a justification of a democratic political community in a globalized society. John Rawls’ theory of justice as “fairness” in political liberalism and Jürgen Habermas’ discursive theory of democracy and the legal system represent two classical political philosophies that argue for democratic participation without ending in populism. Both theories attempt to establish a procedural theory of justice that will be both post-metaphysical and non-metaphysical. Thus, here we must have two democratic theories of general and mutual justification of a basic structure of society, respecting human rights and autonomy without ending in a populist concept of democracy. Nevertheless, it is the question of whether in both theories assumptions about democratic participation beyond populism and the character of a democratic society are not smuggled in that cannot be justified solely within the framework of the theory. The question is whether such types of rational justification of democracy can withstand the challenge of populism. With these questions in mind, the chapter reviews these constructive theories of justice as an expression of a justification for human rights and the protection of the individual in modern democracy and the rule of law, which is an attempt to find a justification of the power of the people without ending in the populist theory of democracy.
TitelGlobalization, Human Rights and Populism : Reimagining People, Power and Places
RedaktørerAdebowale Akande
Antal sider24
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-031-17202-1
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-031-17203-8
StatusUdgivet - 2023


  • Deliberative politics
  • Democracy
  • Justice
  • Reason
  • Political theory
  • Fairness
  • Discourse ethics

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