Imagining Modern Democracy
A Habermasian Assessment of the Philippine Experiment
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Examines democracy in the Philippines using the political thought of Jürgen Habermas.
Winner of the 2016 Outstanding Scholarly Work Award for the School of Humanities presented by Ateneo de Manila University
This book is a pioneering study of Philippine democracy, one of the oldest in the Asian region, vis-à-vis Habermasian critical theory. Proceeding from a concise examination of the theory of law and democracy found in Habermas's Between Facts and Norms, Ranilo Balaguer Hermida explains how the law occupies the central role in both the legitimation of political power and the attainment of social integration. He then discusses how Habermas proposes to resolve the tension that exists in modern society between democratic norms and social facts, through the adoption of a lawmaking procedure whereby the informal sources of issues and opinions from the public sphere are allowed to develop and interact with the formal deliberations and decision processes inside the political system. He also explores certain provisions of the present Philippine Constitution that were expressly intended to restore democratic institutions and processes destroyed by decades of martial law, as well as the problems and hindrances that stand in the way of their full implementation.
Ranilo Balaguer Hermida is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He received his PhD in philosophy from Monash University in Australia.
"Imagining Modern Democracy presents a clear and convincing application of philosophical theory to practical politics. Hermida, using Habermas's theoretical reflections on law and democracy, provides a basis for understanding democratic practice in the Philippines. The book is essential reading for those interested in both Habermas's work and its implications for emerging constitutional democracies. " — David M. Rasmussen, Editor-in-Chief, Philosophy and Social Criticism