Shaveko N. A.

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  • № 1, 2023

    • Agonistic Pluralism and Competitive Model of Democracy: Problems of Normative Justification

      The article is devoted to the analysis of the main tenets of the theory of competitive democracy and its underlying principle of agonistic pluralism, which have become quite widespread among the Western political philosophers in the recent years. The author identifies two main approaches to the normative substantiation of the value of democratic competition. The first approach is based on the postulate about the importance of maintaining the diversity of public discourses and, therefore, inadmissibility of giving one of them the status of dominant or preferred. The second approach emphasizes the importance of constantly challenging the established power relations. Having demonstrated serious flaws in these approaches, one of which, in fact, promotes diversity for the sake of diversity, and the other — variability for the sake of variability, the author turns to the strategy of justifying competitive democracy that focuses on providing all stakeholders with an equal opportunity to change the existing power relations. In his estimation, this strategy, which largely overcomes the shortcomings of the above mentioned approaches, also has its weaknesses related to (1) the difficulty of disentangling between unequal opportunities for transforming power mechanisms and other social inequalities, (2) the unattainability of the complete equality of opportunities, and (3) the ambiguous relationship between the value of the opportunity to define and abolish social restrictions (political equality) and other values (in particular, the so-called intrinsic equality). A special attention in the article is paid to the identification of the deep value foundations of agonistic pluralism. The author notices that advocates of agonism want to evade clarification of these foundations and states that agonistic pluralism as the highest moral basis of politics is highly doubtful, while the part of the concept that is acceptable does not represent anything fundamentally new. According to his conclusion, all this speaks of the purely instrumental nature of this principle, and thus of its relative importance in comparison with those ideals that it intends to achieve.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-108-1-6-24

      Pages: 6-24

  • № 3, 2020

    • Does the Right Precede the Good? (Dispute Between Liberals and Communitarians)

      The liberal theory of justice proposed by John Rawls was almost immediately criticized by communitarians. One of its main directions was Rawls's idea of the priority of law over the good. This article is intended to show that this idea was misunderstood by communitarians, who saw it as an attempt to put law above morality and similar forms of social relations. In solving this problem, N. Shaveko focuses on two objections that are usually raised against this Idea: 1) it breaks the bonds of solidarity; 2) it leaves no room for the demands of local morality. His analysis clearly demonstrates that the concept of Rawls, as well as the liberal project as a Whole, does not belittle the importance of moral ideals and duties of solidarity, but, on the contrary, creates conditions for their implementation. The need to take into account moral views that vary depending on society does not yet indicate that some basic values should not be prioritized over them. Attempts by communitarians, who in fact themselves adhere to certain fundamental values, putting them above any concept of the good, to justify the supremacy of ideas about a good life are not convincing. According to the author, communitarian criticism does not undermine the foundations of Rawls ' theory of justice, but, on the contrary, enriches it. The differences between communitarians and liberals are partly due to the incorrect use of the concepts of "the concept of good" and "moral merit", partly to the untenable thesis that moral obligations can arise solely through membership in a particular community, and partly to groundless attempts to give normative significance to the trivial fact of the interdependence of man and society and to prove the imaginary impossibility of making judgments about justice without defining the goals of certain social institutions.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-98-3-62-81

      Pages: 62-81