Questions regarding the role and value of social conflict in democracy are nothing new. This issue has been extensively discussed in 20th century political philosophy, where scholars have brought into question the consensualism of deliberative democracy as well as the limited ways in which liberalism responds to real crises. They have proposed, in various ways, agonism as a viable and valuable alternative.
Moreover, contemporary social movements renew the call for more analysis on the role of social conflict. Are we facilitating an intensification of social conflict in our present day?
Does this act in the interests of democracy? Can conflict serve a political principal?
The following contributions examine the democratic potential of agonism, either directly or through a broader approach that engages longstanding questions in the field – revealing its complexity.