The crisis of democracy and the effect of public discourse

  • Viktoria Shamrai
Keywords: The crisis of democracy, political participation, governance, discourse, delibera- tive democracy, common good, public intellectual


The article analyzes the contemporary crisis of democracy as one of the key factors in the socio-political situation of the global world. A substantive separation between critical reflection on the effectiveness of mechanisms, procedures and other elements of govern- ment, which constitutes an inseparable dimension of democratic life, and the actual crisis of democracy as a way of self-organization of society, is conducted. Two versions of this crisis are distinguished: (1) the denial of a democratic system by other socio-political sys- tems (first of all totalitarian regimes); (2) the loss of democracy by virtue of the pressure of internal problems and conflicts in the development of society. The devastation of the con- temporary crisis of democracy lies in the crisis of political participation of citizens in the process of governance and, in general, the exercise of power functions. That is why, first of all, the crisis of the representative form of democracy. Among the ways of overcoming it, the emphasis is on the mechanisms of direct democracy, which ensures the involvement of citi- zens in government practices. Proceeding from the drawbacks of traditional forms of direct democracy (in particular, plebiscite), a model of deliberative democracy is proposed, which organically combines the expansion of opportunities for citizen participation in government with the neutralization of manipulative technologies of public communication. The com- plex of requirements for public discourse is substantiated so that he could answer the tasks of deliberative democracy (criteria of authenticity of a discourse). A special role in it must be played by the media of discourse — a public intellectual. Based on these theoretical foun- dations, the state and problems of public discourse in Ukraine are analyzed. This allows us to determine the prospect of a deliberative democracy in Ukrainian society.

Author Biography

Viktoria Shamrai

Canditate of Sciences in Philosophy, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy of Culture, Ethics, and Aesthetics, Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Scien- ces of Ukraine.


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How to Cite
Shamrai, V. (2020). The crisis of democracy and the effect of public discourse. Filosofska Dumka, (5), 93-109. Retrieved from