International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


Democracy as a social practice

Christine Chwaszcza(Cologne University)

pp. 25-50


Majority rule is an essential element of the institution of democratic government. In three steps, I will explore the conditions of its acceptance as a mechanism of pure procedural legitimacy. Starting from H.L.A. Hart's analysis of the concept «rule», I will argue that the validating conditions of rules are not normative beliefs or reasons, but essentially social patterns of conduct and reasoning that manifest themselves in political agency and discourse. Second, I will outline a normative rationale that defends majority rule as a source of «political» legitimacy under conditions of social pluralism. Finally, I will explain why majority rule's legitimating potential requires that political agency and discourse accept the separation of the political sphere from private spheres.

Publication details

Published in:

Croci Giacomo, Gerlek Selin (2020) On institutions. Metodo 8 (1).

Pages: 25-50

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.8.1.25

Full citation:

Chwaszcza Christine (2020) „Democracy as a social practice“. Metodo 8 (1), 25–50.