New Journal of Democratic Theory

SDN is pleased to announce an exciting new journal – Journal of Democratic Theory – first edition out July 2014.

For a brief look at the journal’s objectives, read these excerpts from the Editorial by journal editors Jean-Paul Gagnon and Mark Chou. Download PDF of the full editorial “Why Democratic Theory?” below.

“Though often grouped into the subdiscipline of political theory, democratic theory has now become so multiform that it requires its own specialized forum dedicated to the advancement and organization of knowledge. The many theories and concepts associated with democracy and democratization—including direct democracy, representative democracy, deliberative democracy, agonistic democracy, radical democracy, cosmopolitan democracy, monitory democracy, post- democracies, new authoritarianisms, and even “democide” (Keane 2009; Chou 2013b)—must now speak more to each other as well as to them- selves. To do this, theorists have to more openly analyze democracy from historical, critical, comparative, and cosmopolitan perspectives. Scholar- ship of this nature is, of course, already taking place. But it remains fragmented and spread across a variety of disciplinary journals. Democratic Theory aspires to unite this scholarship. It hopes to become the forum where democratic theorists (and practitioners) can develop their ideas and learn from their peers in a sustained fashion.

Democratic Theory will foster an approach to democracy that does not take its meaning as monolithic or as stagnant. Alongside the growing body of empirically oriented literature asking publics how they understand democracy, this journal will contribute serious investigations into the theoretical underpinnings of such questions. To this end, the journal encourages philosophical and interdisciplinary contributions to debates about the state of democracies past, present, and future. It challenges theorists and practitioners to ask and hazard answers to the perennial questions: What is the meaning of democracy? Why is democracy so prominent in the world today? Will democracy continue to expand? Are current forms of democracy sufficient to give voice to “the people” in an increasingly fragmented and divided world? Who leads in democracy? What types of non-Western democratic theories are there? Should demo- crats always defend democracy? Should democrats be fearful of dedemocratization, postdemocracies, and the rise of hybridized regimes?

To answer these questions, the journal will purposely accommodate a wide range of theoretical perspectives and a multidisciplinary approach to the study of democracy. Only by democratizing the discourse on democracy itself can we glean insights into the various democratic theories, and different democracies, that exist, including: citizenship, representation, democide, deliberation, agonism, participation, e-democracy, neoliberalism, dissent, and so forth; the history (or histories) of democracy; the futures of democracy; the philosophical foundations of democracy; the questions surrounding democracy’s anthropocentrism; theorizations about totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and hybrid regimes in contra-distinction to democracy; the nation-state, globalization, and democracy; domination and resistance; power and inequality; populism and radical politics; and so on.”

logo-adobe-pdf Why_Democratic_Theory.pdf