John Rawls' Theory of Institutionalism: The Historical Movement Toward Liberal Democracy (Hardback)Shaomeng Li
Hardback Published: 01/09/2009
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This work develops institutionalism into a normative and philosophical theory with the ability to explain the historical development of institutions. It demonstrates that although cultural differences and historical contingencies do matter, they should not blind us to the universal applicability of liberal democracy. Moreover, this institutionalist justification has universal elements relevant to nondemocratic or nonliberal societies. According to this interpretation, Rawls expands our understanding of liberal democracy as a political ideal toward which political orders naturally gravitate in order to maintain social stability in face of new and more complex practical actions. Liberal democracy, in other words, is not a specific set of institutions to be realized in a particular form of government, but a natural expansion of citizens' rights and responsibilities as they engage with more complex institutions. From this broadened vision of democracy, a clear pattern of political development towards liberalization and democratization comes into focus.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd