I don’t think the West should be a teacher with the session of definite lessons. John Dunn


John Dunn is one of the prominent theorists of our times. He is an author of numerous valuable political works and a leading professor in Cambridge University. His recent books are generally about democracy and its modern transformation about which we talked with him

1.In your recent books you generally speak about democracy and it’s transformation. Do you think that the current pattern of Democracy has changed for better or worse?

It depends on where you are talking about really. I didn't think that democracy is a particularly an effective political form in contrast with some other political forms. But it has greater chance of being legitimate and that is a different sort of question. The idea of effectiveness you have to think in what respects and for what purposes. Democracy isn’t a political frame to bring about particular consequences and promises particular outcomes. The more simple and the more immdient the outcomes, I mean, the less chances that democracy favoring them. But I don't believe in it, to be true, either in general that democracy prevents any particular outcomes, it depends the political choices, which have been made through it. It is up to them, it is not something to do with to democracy it is something to do with demos with the people and their political attitude towards one other.

2. You also mentioned that the modern deocracy is not the rule of majority but the rule of politicians. I would ask you to open the brakets and elaborate on this?

The idea of people ruling it means people taking the relevant political choices.In a modern state, which is structure of concentrated political choice, and making effective that political choice it can't really be a thing proportion of making decision. However you organize things that the people take choices themselves, too many choices to be made. The people are relevant about mistakes and principles, and the state is a structure through which this choices can be taken relatively coherently and in relatively effective consequences. The contrast between democracy and other state forms now is a contrast between how much effect the body the mass of political sympathy and hostility inside of population has on those who are ruling it. The claim of democracy is as a modern state form is a choice that the great majority of the people cannot be ruled against the severed will.

3.Speaking about the advantages and drawbacks of democracy, in this framework what The East can adopt from the West?

I don’t think the West should be a teacher with the session of definite lessons, which everyone should learn. I think the particular people can learn from the West depends the position people are questions are in and circumstances. It is ‘s some generalized wisdom how to relate together. I didn't think democracy has some special qualifications of organizing and ensuring. The idea of democracy is that people are somehow rule. I think what is very unfortunate ideological history over last 25 years also is that democracy has been presented one particular part of the world as a sort of political model which guarantees good outcomes. I don’t think it is right to look for too much to democracy, you can be disappointed. But it does offer one thing which is incredibly important a permanent long-term gap between a set of rulers and the most and the rest of population.

4. What is the right path for the Post Soviet countries, including Armenia to succeed in the democratization process?

I think the process of democratization is less clear idea than democracy in the first place. And in a way much more ambitious sort of idea. And it s a idea natures relations inside of population and right across the frame between people. So it is socially culturally deep idea. Whereas democracy is a relatively shallow and very specifically political idea. I think the idea of democratization has a lot of value to every sort of society. It’s a picture of the process in which relations power and control to human beings are softened to every time. So it is less cohercive force pressing down on human beings across the life circle. And you certainly can say in comparison the relations inside the society like England 400-500 years there has been a lot of democratization especially in a last century and you could say some consequences have been very good and others haven’t been very good. In general I am in favor of democratization. I suppose to be the opposite which is the reinforcement the structures of power. I think in the first place human beings have to control themselves. Democratization is not a movement, which can only go in a right direction. And you don’t need to think about the implications of consequences. It is an ambivalent process has dangers as well as promises.

5. Judging by the above mentioned ideas can I conclude that you suggest that every society must have its own political system based on it's own values.

I think the idea of values is the foundation of political system- is a mistake. I think political system have to be understood as structure. You can  tell the content form the structure. I don’t think that democracy, as a particular political structure is necessary good for all places and all times. I think it can be terrible for some places for some times and very obviously terrible. But I think the burden of truth of any other political structure against democracy is very heavy. Other structure can bear the burden of proof for a long time. You can have monarchical structure which can be more clear political structure that democracy. You can have monarchical structure which can other particular time with the particular monarch can be as good as anything could be but you don’t have monarchical structures in the world now which just are good and remain good for any length of time because that too much concentration of power in hands of singular person. Democracy is a less dangerous structure than a monarchical structure.

Interviewed by Anna Barseghyan

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