Democratic theory, the courts and the press

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Powerful social forces block the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. Economic, political and social stability has not yet been achieved. The corporatist political and social structures have not been transformed to allow the vast majority to enjoy the basic necessities that ensure a life of dignity. Institutional structures of government, such as an independent judiciary, must be developed and stabilized. The rule of law and the guarantees of due process have to be consolidated and become an accepted, basic requirement of social interaction. Creating a specific kind of deliberative democracy based on the epistemic value of democratic decision making and discussion is the only way forward. This justificatory theory is more likely to allow for equal participation and rational discourse among all segments of the population. Objective information on important societal issues is a necessary prerequisite for such participation. This requires an independent press that adequately performs its democratic functions. Moreover, an independent judiciary has an indispensable role to play in this process, particularly in protecting the free flow of information to the people so that they can make informed choices on issues crucial to a democracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-132
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Courts
  • Democratic transitions
  • Free press

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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