Democracy and Social Beliefs: New Ways of Representing the Political
Language: English and Spanish
Session organized by the Asociacion Latinoamericana de Sociologia
The ideal of liberal democracy that governs modern republican political systems starts from the principle of a secular citizenship that would be the shared collective rule in decision-making processes on public and private goods. It turns out that such a construct of citizenship governed by the alleged normativity of rational individual interests that would converge toward a certain definition of the political does not hold in the daily life of modern societies. Contrary to a rational contract between free actors to exercise rhetoric in the Agora, what we see are cognitive and affective hierarchies and also a multiplicity of places of enunciation of the political that contradict the horizontal and symmetrical image of the democratic game presented by liberal theorists and even by more attuned thinkers like Habermas. The memories of modern democratic practices point to the effective presence of antagonisms that cut across the modes of action of agents in the organization of the political scene. In this context, the Latin American and Brazilian experience is important because it demonstrates how secular and religious beliefs are interwoven both in the organization of representations of citizenship and in the formulation of the political from a perspective that does not fit into the conceptual model of liberal thinkers.