Value Conflicts as a Challenge to Democracy

© Springer VS

In his new monograph, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Willems from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” examines the challenge posed to democracy by conflicts over values. In this study, the author demonstrates that even in questions of values, specific kinds of compromise are, contrary to currently accepted opinion, amenable to forming the core of a strategy to soften conflicts over such values. After critically confronting the model of liberal political theory for dealing with conflicts over values, the book makes a plea to orient the political order of morally pluralistic societies towards the idea of a “modus vivendi”.

The author begins by systematically reconstructing previous approaches towards and theories about the democratic regulation of conflicts and makes a proposal towards identifying the logic and dynamics of conflicts over values. In a second step, he analyses empirical evidence for the success of the existing conventional and alternative conflict management procedures, in order to assess their suitability for resolving conflicts over values. The third part of the study is dedicated to the question of the political order of plural societies.

Literature: Willems, Ulrich: Wertkonflikte als Herausforderung der Demokratie, Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2015.