Monica Riccio
Pages 73-84
DOI: 10.2478/v10193-011-0020-1


This article questions the universal value attributed to the idea of democracy within a global intercultural context. The point is: do “mature” Western democracies, with their history, their nature and their limits, meet the needs of intercultural ethics? A first factual finding shows that outside, at the frontiers of “mature” democracies, all possible openings to the exercise of democratic freedoms, to the protection of human rights, and to any hybrid form of relationship and dialogue are near to nothing. Not even within Western liberal democracies do egalitarian guarantees, which in any case are the heart and soul of the culture of democratic societies, manage to make room for the recognition of differences in equality and for truly dialogic practices. When they face up to the needs of a possible ethical culture, the principles that underpin contemporary democracies (one of them being universal equality) show an unpliability and an ambivalence often concealed up to now. Conversely, an a posteriori and artificially progressive pattern of the historical course of democracies has been constructed that has ended up “triumphing” and attaining the global, universal “success” of our days.