As a system of governance, democracy has come to define institutions and administrations the world over, and is one of the enduring characteristics of the modern nation-state.
The success of democracy requires a sense of decorum – the peaceful transfer of power, competition coinciding with respect for one’s political opponents. But in recent years, the democracies of the western world have seemingly reached an impasse in this regard, enduring a rising tide of political polarization that has pushed incivility from the political fringe to the political mainstream.
The question of how to stem this trend of polarization has become one of the defining issues of our time for democratic scholars, comparativists, security specialists and political theorists alike - and sadly no easy answers have emerged from any discipline. But perhaps the key to this issue isn’t found in the politics of our time, but rather the philosophy of the past. Indeed, the ingredients necessary for democracy to function were a deep preoccupation of the philosophers of the classic era, and on this episode of the Carleton University Political Science Podcast we discuss one such ingredient that is often overlooked: that of friendship.
How is friendship political, and what is the role of friendship in democracy? And in what ways does friendship, or perhaps more accurately a lack thereof, help explain this current impasse of incivility seemingly haunting the contemporary democratic world? To answer these questions and more we spoke with Ali Elyasi. Ali is a PhD candidate with the Department of Political Science specializing in ancient political theory, Islamic thought, and democracy.
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Thanks so much for listening, and an extra thanks to Sappheiros for use of his music for our theme.
Lights by Sappheiros @sappheirosmusic
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Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/LightsSappheiros
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Title: Lights by Sappheiros
Genre and Mood: Dance & Electronic + Inspirational
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