The Semantic Renewal of Democracy. Some Remarks on Kelsens’ and Bobbio’s Political Philosophy

Daniele Stasi

The paper analyses the notion of democracy in relation to the relevant ideas of Hans Kelsen and Norberto Bobbio. Both the conception of Kelsen and the reflection of Bobbio are concerned with the way modern democracy can be described and understood. Both thinkers-academics consider democracy to be a political system which is fundamentally unable to realize values such as individual autonomy and self-determination. The common ground between these two conceptions is semantic renewal of certain terms referring the theory on democracy. Kelsen describes obscurity and injustice of some concepts such as people, equality, etc. Bobbio thinks that on the one hand democracy, especially after fascismand the Second World War, represents the values in relation to cultural and political development of Italy. On the other hand, he makes clear his skepticism about the unfulfilled promises of democracy.


Keywords: Kelsen · Bobbio · philosophy of law · philosophy of politics · semantic · autonomy · equality

Daniele Stasi – Professor of political philosophy and philosophy of law at the University of Rzeszów. His research interests are focused upon the history of political and judicial ideas in modern society. He is currently working on two broad topics: Leon Petrażycki’s philosophy of law and the evolution of the notion of property in relation to social order.   »  

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