File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2000/habermas.0002, message 9

Subject: HAB: Popular Sovereignty as Procedure
Date: 	Tue, 29 Feb 2000 11:45:12 -0500

Is there a slight shift in the emphasis of Habermas's moral theory of discourse 
to his theory of deliberative democracy?

On pg. 486 of BFN, habermas writes, "The public sphere thus reproduces itself 
*self-referentially* [emphaiss in text], and in doing so reveals the place to 
which the expectation of a sovereign self-organization of society has 
withdrawn.  The idea of popular sovereignty is thereby *desubstantialized* 
[my emphasis]... Subjectless and anonymous, an intersubjectively dissolved 
popular sovereignty withdraws into democratic procedures and the demanding 
communicative presuppositions of their implementation."

I take this to mean that "popular sovereignty" is an "empty space" - a space 
that cannot be filled by any susbtance (above the dissolution of the 
tautology), lest the procedures themselves lose their formal character and side 
with a given substance.  My immediate reaction is that this has some 
similarities to Zizek's "absent centre of political ontology" but I'm not quite 
interested in purusing that here.  More to point, I'm interested if this marks 
a shift in Habermas's thinking, albeit slight, from his moral theory, which 
doesn't appear to have the same "hole in the middle."


     --- from list ---


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005