Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Liberal organic democracy : a politics of active citizenship
Author: Elliott, Richard
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis outlines a new theory of democracy - Liberal Organic Democracy - that recovers the dynamic understanding of popular self-rule developed in the work of New Liberal theorists, and reconstructs it on much firmer philosophical foundations. It reframes the New Liberal principle of democratic self-realisation within a Wittgensteinian theory of language- and concept-use. And it advances an organic model of democracy grounded in the everyday practice of following a rule. Early chapters of the thesis endeavour to reclaim New Liberal democratic thought from its current obscurity. The first chapter offers a detailed analysis of the 'organic' model of political development that shaped New Liberal demands for constitutional reform. Thereafter, the second chapter advances a new interpretation of Hobson's democratic thought, acknowledging its theoretical limitations, while extolling the organic social ontology that grounds Hobson's model of democracy in a framework of political engagement. Subsequent chapters reframe this organic social ontology within a comprehensive philosophy of meaning. The third chapter begins the process of theoretical reconstruction by outlining a Wittgensteinian theory of rule-following practice. The fourth chapter maps the theory onto the normative claim that 'every agent should have the opportunity to be understood'. And the fifth chapter illustrates the importance of the rule-following norm for politics, arguing that social development is defined by a holistic process of self-realisation. The final chapters of the thesis apply this argument to political thought. The sixth chapter identifies three political characteristics that follow from the rule-following norm, and grounds meaningful democracy in a model of active citizenship. And the seventh chapter gestures towards a loose institutional framework for meaningful democratic rule. This theoretical model aims to democratise the development of political concepts: to uncover the holistic processes driving political engagement, and to demonstrate how they can be harnessed to the principle of democratic self-realisation.
Supervisor: Leopold, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science