9th Dialogue on Science 2010 - Opinions of the participants Part 1

Challenging Democracy - 9th Dialogue on Science of the Academia Engelberg Foundation 2010 During this year’s Dialogue on Science held in Engelberg in mid October, experts from various disciplines and countries with different forms of government analyzed the concept of democracy. You can find the reportings, impressions, the audio- and video-files of the 9th Dialogue on Science on the website: http://www.academia-engelberg.ch/conference_2010.php5 . Visit also the Blog on...

Democracy and federalism

Challenging Democracy - 9th Dialogue on Science of the Academia Engelberg Foundation 2010 At the end of the 9th Dialogue on Science, former Federal Counsellor Arnold Koller spoke about federalism and democracy. He outlined the development of democracy in the past 50 years in Europe and confirmed a real renaissance. Afterwards, he discussed in detail the relation between democracy and federalism and asked the rhetorical question of whether federalism really leads to more and better...

Scope and limitations of democracy

Challenging Democracy - 9th Dialogue on Science of the Academia Engelberg Foundation 2010 In a role play, participants assumed the task of governing different countries such as Germany, Canada, Kenya, Columbia, Pakistan and Serbia. On the one hand, they had the task to increase their country’s prosperity through fishing as the only source of income. On the other hand, they had to be careful to not lose the favour of the voters. This situation confronted several "governments" with real...

Democratic representation in an internationalized and globalized World

Challenging Democracy - 9th Dialogue on Science of the Academia Engelberg Foundation 2010 Professor Stefanie Bailer from ETH Zurich reported that in globalized political order, there are debates of whether the end of parliamentarism has come or whether it is time to declare a postparliamentarist period. She explained the problems of free votes. Afterwards, she analysed voting processes for complex issues and factors which explain these decisions. She came to the conclusion that modern...

Troubles with voters ... and those who try to fix them

Challenging Democracy - 9th Dialogue on Science of the Academia Engelberg Foundation 2010 Professor Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan, disagreed with the assumption according to which citizens know too little about politics these days. It is widely believed that citizens who cannot give correct answers to political questions make the wrong decisions. But for Lupia, this is the erroneous approach: "People can only make the right decisions if they have all the necessary information." It...

Why Democracy? A philosophical defence against the most subtle despisers

Challenging Democracy - 9th Dialogue on Science of the Academia Engelberg Foundation 2010 In his presentation, Professor Günter Abel from the Technical University of Berlin asked the question of whether society can provide reasons for an understanding of democracy beyond the stranglehold of the dichotomy between metaphysical absolutism and resigned relativism. He asked to leave behind the whole picture of the political as a space of truth and knowledge. Rather, one might conceive the...