13 Pages


ByAlain Touraine

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book offers an answer: democracy's raison d'etre is the recognition of the other. Critiques of the purely political conception of democracy are usually premised on the need to transform society. Pro-democratic thought and action were for a long time identified with the free construction of a political space that could serve as a base for attacks on a hierarchical and segmented society dominated by tradition, privilege, and injustice. Democracy is the institutional organization of relations between subjects. Democratic action is equidistant from aggressively communitarian theories of difference and from the apolitical liberalism that is indifferent to inequalities and exclusions. Democratic culture is a means toward the end of recomposing the world and individual personalities by encouraging different cultures to come together in such a way that we can all share as much as possible of the human experience.