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2010 | 20 | 2 | 114-123
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THE ROLE AND NATURE OF FREEDOM IN TWO NORMATIVE THEORIES OF DEMOCRACY

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The article examines the role and the nature of freedom in two normative concepts of democracy, in the work of Hans Kelsen and of Emanuel Rádl. Both authors wrote their work on democracy between the two world wars. Kelsen formulated his concept of democracy in 'On the Substance and Value of Democracy' (1920), a book which has clearly been influenced by the political thinking of Kant and Rousseau. Kelsen shares Rousseau's idea of general will and on this basis the principle of majority. Rádl outlines his theory of freedom and democracy in 'The War between the Czechs and the Germans' (1928), 'Nationality as a Scientific Problem' (1929) and 'On German Revolution' (1933). Rádl distinguishes between three types of freedom and democracy: natural, majority and contractual. Rádl asserts that only in the third type of freedom, in which freedom is connected with responsibility and the law is freedom true. He considers the first type of freedom to be anarchical freedom, which can easily be misused. The second type of freedom is better than the first, but worse than the third. The author compares these concepts of freedom and democracy then and today and shows how they are linked to the questions of justice and solidarity at national and cosmopolitan levels.
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  • Martin Simsa, Department of Political Science and of Philosophy, Philosophical Faculty, University of Jan Evangelista Purkyne, Ceské mládeze 8, 400 96 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
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