The democratic paradox is a collection of essays by the belgian political theorist chantal mouffe published in 2000 by verso books the essays offer further discussion of the concept of radical democracy that mouffe explored in hegemony and socialist strategy . In the introduction to the democratic paradox mouffe separates politics which she designates as the administration of the political via the state and its representative parties and politics which is the field of irreconcilable adversarial antagonisms. In the democratic paradox chantal mouffe seeks to get to the heart of the liberal democratic projectrather than seeing liberal democracy as a stable unified historical project mouffe instead sees a contingent and often contested alliance between two distinct historical projects the democratic project based on equality and the liberal project based on liberty. From the theory of deliberative democracy to the politics of the third way the present zeitgeist is characterized by attempts to deny what chantal mouffe contends is the inherently conflictual nature of democratic politics. The democratic paradox can one envisage how to deal with it as my disolssion of carl schmitts theses in chapter 2 makes clear democratic logics always entail drawing a frontier between us and them those who belong to the demos and those who are outside it this is the condition for the very exercise of democratic rights
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