Democracy Is Incomplete: Response to Crawford, Hechter, Zielonka, and Zipperstein

Craig Calhoun*, Dilip Gaonkar, Charles Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We appreciate four reviews addressing our book, Degenerations of Democracy. Each points to ways democracy may be advanced and also raises questions about our argument. We respond to the latter and briefly build on the former. These are directions for further work, but none stands alone or offers the crucial path forward. This is not surprising, since no democracy in the past or today, even when celebrated as good, just, secure, and stable by a majority of its citizens, has fully realized its normative potential and utopian aspirations. There is always more to be achieved, and there is always potential for degeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • democracy
  • social movements
  • social transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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