Author Archives: Massimo Cuono

Teoria politica – Call for Papers

International Journal of Theory of Politics – Teoria politica

1. Capitalism, Democracy and the Crisis, Again. The Social Question, Today

Neoliberal ideology, which has been transformed into a kind of global meta-political direction, considers democracy as an obstacle to capitalism, as it had already been mentioned by Norberto Bobbio more than thirty years ago. Thus, capitalism —or financial capitalism— has come to oust democracy, namely the power of political self-determination, by establishing a kind of rule of capital in place of the rule of law. The onset of the crisis, which many believe resulted from the lack of limitations and constraints to capitalist activity, could be taken as a factual refutation, or even as a reversal of the neoliberal thesis. Do democratic political answers to the economic crisis exist? Democracy itself is in crisis and according to many observers this crisis has been determined by an unfettered capitalism promoted through those parties and movements that fuelled and adopted policies inspired by neoliberal ideology. In this case, what could be the possible answers that democracy could offer? Answers to which problems? To the state of public finances, with the aim of restoring the economic and political conditions, as well as the arrangements in place prior to the crisis; or to the spread of inequality and poverty, to the worsening of the social question that the crisis and its governance have produced? Should not we consider —tautologically— the restoration of democracy and the power of political self-determination as the remedy to the crisis of democracy itself, as well as to the inability or weakness of political classes subordinated to the economic power, in dealing with the social question? Are technocracies and populisms (of different leanings) remedies or causes of even worst evils?

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Capitalism and Democracy

 XXXIII Seminar of Political Philosophy

Capitalism and Democracy

Torino, 10-12 ottobre 2013

Campus Luigi Einaudi – Aula Magna

lungo Dora Siena, 100

Thursday October 10, 3 p.m.

Crisi del capitalismo e crisi della democrazia

Michelangelo Bovero, Università di Torino

A New Governance: Hierarchies, Markets, and Networks

Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkley

Friday October 11, 9,00 a.m.

Diseguaglianze: il capitalismo contro la democrazia

Luciano Gallino, Università di Torino 

The Hegemony of Financial Economics

Bruno Théret, Université Paris Dauphine

Friday October 11, 15,00 p.m.

Social Rights and Legal Wrongs

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Teoria politica – Call for paper

International Journal of Theory of Politics – Teoria politica

1. Capitalism and Democracy

Modern political culture originated from the acknowledgement and guarantee of the fundamental rights of the individual: inalienable rights, literally meaning cannot be either purchased or sold. The tension between market society and democratic society, grounded on political rights of collective auto-determination, originates here. Fundamental rights are the limits and boundaries of any power. As Montesquieu taught, any power shall tend to abuse if it does not meet limitations. In times of de-regulation, inaugurated by the Thatcher and Reagan governments between the Seventies and Eighties of the last century, the abuses of economic power highly increased: the power of mysterious and anonymous forces, «markets», speculators; the power of the institutes of economic evaluation, the so-called rating agencies; the power of supranational economic institutions, the Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, all able to impose binding directives to governments. Economic power has become pervading, predominant, preponderant, until it started to dictate the laws to political power, actually to the power of making laws. Or even to replace political power. And it legitimised itself by showing up as a neutral power, devoted to the «natural» laws of economy which bear the capitalist system; as a «technical» power, anchored to the economic «science». Science or ideology? In recent times, criticisms and confutations were opposed to the «expert knowledge» of the supporters of the neoliberal economic science. Nevertheless, the nerve centres of economic power keep on dominating on the social arrangements and processes of political decision, emptying democracy of its power.

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Legitimacy 2.0: Transparency Online – Its Meaning, Impact And Value

Call for Papers

Special Workshop at the World Congress of Philosophy of Law (IVR)

Belo Horizonte (Brazil), 21-28t July 2013

Transparency is everywhere, or at least talk of it is everywhere. The mainstream view is that transparency furthers accountability and offers an antidote against corruption, both in the private and the public sector. It is not any specific right or principle, rather a feature of institutions embedded in the ideal of open society and often considered a requirement for efficiency and good governance. As essential to guarantee authority and effectiveness of rules, but also democratic participation, it is fundamental to assure obedience to the law and trust in institutions. Conversely, the lack of transparency might contribute to arbitrary power. Does the introduction of ICTs higher the quality of epistemic processes and outputs into the legal and political system? Does greater transparency of the network, e.g., through e-government tools, lead to increased participation, more active and responsible citizen involvement in decision-making, on local, national and supranational levels? What impact does web 2.0 technologies have? What could be the effects of information overload in the long run?

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European Citizenship: Twenty Years On

Next year it will be 20 years since EU citizenship was first introduced. Much has happened. An international congress in Uppsala in March stock-takes and seeks out the challenges ahead: http://www.europeancitizenship.se/

Welcome!

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Teoria politica – Call for paper

International Journal of Theory of Politics – Teoria politica

From Democracy In the Net to Democracy On the Net?

Over the decades a transformation process that is different according to location but essentially homogeneous has taken place. Regimes commonly considered to be democratic tend to develop non-democratic features. To express the nature of these regimes terms have been coined such as «post-democracy», «audience democracy», «electoral dictatorship», «elective autocracy», or «technocratic caesaropapism» to highlight a different direction that might be shaping the erosion of self-government. In this context, the sensational events of popular protests that have affected many areas of the globe, resulting in some cases, as in North Africa, in revolutions, in other cases setting mass dissent against decisions imposed from above, can be interpreted as strengthening and recovering of the democratic spirit. Beyond the obvious differences, all these movements are united in pursuing the goal, intensive and extensive use of ICTs. Could democracy trapped «in the net» of various degenerative processes pull itself out of it by going «on the net»? Internet seems to some scholars a suitable tool to promote new forms of participation and deliberation: Can horizontally «inter(net)connected» citizens avoid limitations and distortions of traditional political decision-making processes? Other scholars have pointed out that political action mediated by ICTs risk falling into new traps, not necessarily different from those in which democracy has fallen before: populist tendencies, inequality and exclusion (digital divide), manipulations and autocratic control. How you can prevent Internet from becoming another trap?

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