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May 31-Democracy: Friendship in the Company of Strangers?” 民主:陌生人之间的友谊?
Date:2018-05-26  Clicks:223

Democracy: Friendship in the Company of Strangers?


Dr Quinlan Bowman

WHU Philosophy Spring Seminar Series

Thursday 31 May 2018

531日周四下午230 B 301


Democracy is typically premised on the values of treating persons as “free” and “equal.” And friendship is a relationship that shows us how we treat one another when we try to instantiate these values in the context of joint or collective decision-making. Moreover, cultural anthropology indicates that friendship-like relationships exist in all known societies. Accordingly, it would seem that in every society there is already some understanding of what “free and equal treatment” in joint or collective decision-making entails. Based on these observations, this presentation discusses the potentially constructive role that the concept and practice of friendship can play in cross-cultural dialogues about democracy. More specifically, it describes how appeals to friendship can help to generate greater agreement among self-described democrats regarding the attractiveness of specifically deliberative forms of decision making. To illustrate, the article discusses the apparent conflict between a so-called “model” of “agonistic democracy” and a so-called “model” of “deliberative” democracy.

About the Speaker

Quinlan finished his PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. Subsequently, he took up a one year fellowship at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra in Australia. His broad expertise is in political theory and philosophy, with particular emphasis on contemporary democratic theory and practice. He is currently at work on two co-authored book manuscripts, one entitled "Innovations in Democratic Governance," the other entitled "Deliberative Global Governance." He also has two single-authored book projects. The first is based on his PhD dissertation, and is entitled "Democracy as Reflexive Social Inquiry.“ The second is the basis of his presentation today, and is entitled "Democracy: Friendship in the Company of Strangers?"

Suggested Background Reading

Mouffe, Chantal, "Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism?", Social Research, Vol. 66, No. 33 (Fall 1999): 745-758.

When and Where

Pre-Seminar Briefing

· When: 14:30-15:30

· Where: B214, School of Philosophy


· When: 15:30-16:00

· Where: Starbucks (all welcome, at own expense)

Seminar Presentation:

· When: 16:00-17:15

· Where: B301, School of Philosophy