Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The Ideology of Democracy: Populism vs. Compromise

John Stuart Mill Lecture 2018 by Christian Rostbøll
Date & time: Wednesday 20 June 2018, 16.00-18.00 hrs.
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Aurora 0C-29 (above the restaurant)
Reservations are not required.
The Ideology of Democracy: Populism vs. Compromise
Democracy is under siege. Populist leaders feed on dissatisfaction with the workings of representative democracy. It is tempting to understand our predicament as a conflict between the democratic ideology of popular sovereignty and how democracy actually works. However, this framing of the issue is to accept that populism is the true ideology of democracy, while political compromise is mere pragmatic politics. This lecture suggests that we should regard compromise not merely as how democracy necessarily but regrettably works, but as providing an attractive ideal of democracy.
Christian F. Rostbøll is Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and holds a PhD from Columbia University, New York. He has published extensively in the field of political theory. He is the author of Deliberative Freedom: Deliberative Democracy as Critical Theory (SUNY Press, 2008), and of articles published in, among other journals, Political Theory, Constellations, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy & Social Criticism, European Journal of Political Theory, Social Theory and Practice, and European Political Science Review. Professor Rostbøll is the principal investigator of the research project ‘COMPROMISE: Democratic Ideals and Real Politics’, funded by the Velux Foundation.