- Robert A. Dahl on Pluralism, Democracy and Deliberation
- in münchen Ausgabe 13/ by InMagazin Verlags GmbH - Issuu
- Social Science Works
- “Super Volunteerism”: A Grass-Roots Solution to Global Prejudice
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Though literature shows that refugees provide a net gain on the economy,  refugees do not migrate for the purpose of contributing the economy — the primary reason for which she and my grandfather migrated. This difference in situation initially prevented my grandmother from fully empathizing with the plight of the refugee.
Robert A. Dahl on Pluralism, Democracy and Deliberation
Throughout the summer, I spoke to her candidly about my experiences with the kids in the classroom. She asked me questions about their lives and families and, later, about their interests and progress. When I ran into issues of unruly behavior or needed ideas for crafts, she gave advice, using her experiences, including those which she acquired as a homemaker the occupation of which she was most proud and those acquired from the many jobs she juggled upon arrival to the states. When I later invited her to come to the IRC youth summer school graduation, she attended the event and met many of the kids she had heard so much about throughout the summer.
Having come out of the summer with my grandmother, I could see how this theory was developed, but I knew the theory was incomplete. With increased empathy and heightened understanding from our prior conversations, my grandmother could have an overall attitudinal shift when meeting the students. Where was the theory surrounding in-group to in-group attitudinal shift? Theory shows that direct contact between an in-group U. However, our research group now also knew from my own experience that in-group members nationals of a country could be effective at reducing the prejudices in other in-group members toward an out-group in this case, refugees.
By conducting qualitative research, we added to Intergroup Contact Theory literature to show: In our study, we identified and labeled two ways that in-group members reduced prejudices in others. First, in-group members could directly impact attitudes by empathy-building through storytelling. We hoped to better understand real-world solutions positive attitudinal change for a real-world problem increasing prejudice toward refugees and migrants based on our observations of a real-world scenario my grandmother over summer Following the example of Social Science Works, which uses empirical research to find practical solutions to pressing societal problems, we designed this project to learn more about the grass-roots influencers who motivate change in others.
We wanted to study the increasingly relevant question: When asking how to positively change attitudes toward a particular group, social scientists predominantly point to Contact Theory, proposed by Gordon Allport in during his studies in South Africa. We saw two main problems with the practical functionality of Contact Theory.
in münchen Ausgabe 13/ by InMagazin Verlags GmbH - Issuu
For one, in places like Japan with extraordinarily few refugees in , Japan only took 28 refugees ranging from a variety of countries — Asian, African and Middle Eastern ,  Contact Theory would theoretically be unable to function because there is almost no opportunity for direct contact between nationals and refugees. With no opportunity for contact, Japanese would maintain fear of refugees which would continue constrained immigration policies at a national level, reducing contact and perpetuating the cycle.
In countries like Germany which have accepted a greater number of refugees,  negative media portrayals specifically, those online of refugees are more common and the issue tends to be more politically polarizing. Because of this, literature surrounding Intergroup Contact Theory would say that interactions between nationals and refugees are more likely to be tainted with fear and bias, which would therefore strengthen negative attitudes.
In countries like Japan, where direct contact with refugees is nearly impossible, we predicted there might still be particularly influential Japanese nationals who positively empathy-build in those around them. In places like Germany where select media frames, particularly on the internet, are becoming increasingly hostile to refugees,  Super Volunteers could continue to dispel harmful stereotypes of refugees by articulating a more nuanced perspective of the problems faced by refugees or by telling stories from their own volunteer work.
From March to August of , we investigated if and how Super Volunteers can change the attitudes of their friends and family, both in Japan, which has particularly strict immigration policies and a small volunteer culture,  and in Germany, which accepted 1. Thus, when we did find Super Volunteers in Japan, we were interested in how they were able to inspire others to care about refugee issues, given the very difficult social frame.
Conversely, we knew of the existence of Super Volunteers in Germany, but we wanted to see if the strategies remained consistent, though Japan and Germany had radically different volunteer cultures and social policies; from a comparative standpoint, these countries were so divergent in national outlooks on refugee immigration, volunteerism, and nonprofit culture that any similarities in strategies of attitudinal change would be noteworthy.
While, on the one hand, Japan is a country historically strict on immigration, now slowly attempting to move beyond that legacy,  Germany has historically taken in waves of migrants including refugees en masse and is now facing political backlash. The following outlines our methodology and a summary of findings:. We conducted over interviews with volunteers and staff at over 40 refugee service organizations.
This recruitment process of choosing interviewees who were willing to respond to an email promptly and speak about their work was highly accurate at getting the most invested within the organizations, as confirmed by many staff members of the organizations whom we interviewed. While in Germany, the gender makeup skewed female, retirement age, and upper class, in Japan, the gender makeup was more evenly split, the age gap was more polarized between the old and young, and wealth was representative of that of the average Japanese population.
About 60 interviews took place in Japan and about 90 took place in Germany. Both countries presented environments that limit opportunities for interactions that build empathy between refugees and nationals, a reality that many volunteers in both countries tried to actively counteract. In Japan, there are so few refugees that the typical Japanese is unlikely to ever encounter one.
In Germany, which has seen an influx of refugees, interactions can be colored by hostility and suspicion,  limiting potential for empathy building; many times, as well, neighborhoods would gentrify, creating distinct divides between the German national population and the migrant populations. During interviews with volunteers, a member of the research team asked respondents a series of scripted questions designed to assess whether the volunteer had acted as a Super Volunteer or been acted upon by one. Mention of bringing personal contacts to the organization to volunteer indicated a potential Super Volunteer; likewise, being brought to the organization by a friend or family member as opposed to encountering it by chance or through advertising indicated association with one.
We also asked if volunteers had spoken to others about their work in ways that could begin the process of empathy building, and if so, inquired about the ways they discussed their work and the stories they told. These responses illustrated a nuanced and complex situation of the refugee policies of each country, along with the mechanisms that Super Volunteers used to recruit their friends. During interviews with paid staff at the refugee service organizations, a member of the research team asked respondents questions to determine the ways that organizations recruited volunteers, attempting to ascertain what strategies are effective at mobilizing people to do volunteer for an organization.
If the respondents mentioned such volunteers, we wanted to know the ways in which they were effective; in most cases, these responses reinforced the strategies that we heard directly from Super Volunteers themselves. After collecting our data, the team transcribed, translated when necessary , and individually coded each of the interviews by first employing the following broader categories: The goal of this analytical category was to better understand the internal and cultural narratives that might be propagated about refugees in a given country. This category provided us background for each of the countries of study.
The goal of this analytical category was to understand internal and external factors that compel volunteers to start doing volunteer work and to continue it. This goal of this category was to test for the existence of Super Volunteers and identify them for interviews. Once we were able to determine that certain volunteers were particularly influential, we wanted to see what differentiated them from their peer volunteers or staff supervisors. The goal of this category was to determine what helped volunteers build empathy towards the outgroup and how they were able to engender such empathy in others.
With this category we analyzed all text blocks that described the ways in which Super Volunteers brought about behavioral or attitudinal changes in others. Our interviews and qualitative data analysis revealed evidence for the existence of Super Volunteers in both Japan and Germany who positively changed the minds of others around them. Through our research, we were able to 1 identify, disaggregate, and label two types of Super Volunteers and 2 find a correlation between the type of Super Volunteer and the type of organization that they work for, using existing Contact Theory to guide our reasoning.
These Super Volunteers bring others to volunteer at their organization or attend informational events without first influencing their attitudes. They typically use storytelling to engender empathy. Organization Type Facilitators typically worked for organizations that did not have direct contact between the Super Volunteer and refugees. These organizations predominantly existed in Japan. Proxies typically worked for organization that did have direct contact between the Super Volunteer and refugees.
These organizations predominantly existed in Germany. Those things I discuss more and more often with other people. The tasks of these volunteers mostly included administrative paperwork, sorting clothes, or folding newsletters. The Super Volunteer herself made it clear that she had not even cared as much about refugee issues until her own friend who founded the organization exposed her to the issues. My name is . How did you start this volunteer?
Volunteer 1 [Super Volunteer]: In my case, it was after starting this volunteer that I became interested in refugees. So, rather than about refugees, I just wanted to do something for my friend and came here. We four are all friends. When you were invited by [Volunteer 1], is there anything that stood out to you? I had been thinking how I can be any help.
But like the fact that Japan is accepting almost no refugees, or that Japan is giving visas to the fourth largest population in the world,  I was not interested in such news in the past. So now I would read a news article about Rohingya. Reporting events are also motivational. I can learn good parts of [my organization] and these make me want to support it. In many cases, this took the form of descriptive and effective personal storytelling.
In these cases, Super Volunteers were directly impacting the attitudes of the audience, rather than facilitating a behavior change that leads to a later attitude change. For example, one German respondent spoke about how he was able to engender empathy in those around him by expressing the difficulties faced by refugees:.
Talking to friends that are not gay, are not volunteering, [even those] — [who are] pretty much conservatives- and just talking about why refugees cannot work. And they are not allowed to work! And then I experienced it first hand, that many of our refugees they had work allowance, and they were working and they were paying taxes, and the government  — changed.
They made recommendations […] that refugees should not be allowed to work if their prospect of staying is low. Which means that if you are not Syrian, if you are not from a war zone, you are not granted work allowance. So all these work allowances were stripped. So these people were not paying taxes, were back on social benefits, were sitting in camps, were not exposed to German culture, and were totally depressed because their dream was to come here for a better life and to come here for democracy, and to come to state that has a legal foundation, and what happened there is just against how they believed Germany works.
This was the strategy that we witnessed between Christina and her grandmother at the outset of the research. Existing theory explains the utility of empathy-building as a mechanism for attitudinal change; many social scientists have written about the importance of storytelling, particularly in the context of refugees.
While existing literature describes why storytelling is effective, we explain who Super Volunteers uses this strategy and how using personal experiences from their service work in these cases of in-group to in-group attitudinal change. Our second major finding was the correlation between the type of Super Volunteer strategy and the type of organization they volunteered for. They were more likely to tell stories about their refugee friends and begin deconstructing many of the fears that their audiences held.
Obviously, this degree of removal from direct contact makes it even more difficult to engender empathy. Super Volunteers are powerful agents for change, and they can exist even in places that do not have an environment conducive to volunteerism. They have existed as long as there have been causes worth fighting for, and they epitomize the importance of grass-roots activism.
Because top-down, government-lead approaches cannot always change the attitudes of individual citizens, it is critical to understand how we can engender understanding at a person-to-person level. Fundamental issues like an inability to communicate in a shared language might prevent anything more than superficial contact; if basic communication is possible, cultural differences might trigger fear or hostility; and even the most positive of interactions risk placing an undue burden on an already marginalized outgroup member to deconstruct a prejudice that personally targets them.
Super Volunteers are a group that has already decided consciously or unconsciously that they have the capabilities, resources, and stability to take on this burden for refugees who may not currently have the same capacity. They are also a group that can better communicate with those of the in-group because they themselves are part of the in-group. In many cases, academics are not the ones doing direct service, and in many cases, politicians are guided by theory grounded in academia. Edward Taylor et al. Many cited this incident as a turning point in the increase of suspicion directed at refugees:.
We think that she was referring to the temporary worker migrants situation in Japan operating as low-wage labor under the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe administration. Trade with Haiti, , accessed August 05, , https: When people who had been abroad come back, [staff] show us videos… about what they were doing, what kind of events they did, or the current situation.
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I often say stupid things. We use electric sewing machines. But there, people have to use hand-powered ones, and even then there is a scarcity. Such stories make me think deeply. I accept those who are in need come to Japan and work, but not an extremist. The government should examine at least several times. They should not recognize everyone. How Does It Work? What Relevance for Developing Countries? Robert Dahl — is one of the most influential political scholars of the last century. His ideas on political scholarship, pluralism, democracy and deliberation also influenced Social Science Works.
Click on the link below for the article:. Dahl, Robert by Hans Blokland Bis heute setzten sich die Menschen damit auseinander wie sie auf diesen Wandel reagieren sollen. Die Leitfrage soll dabei sein: Darauf aufbauend wird die Situation in Potsdam beschrieben. Eine demokratische Gesellschaft zeichnet sich durch verschiedene Elemente der Kompromiss-und Entscheidungsfindung aus, wobei dem Austausch und Wettbewerb der Ideen eine zentrale Bedeutung zukommt.
Im Unterschied zu konfrontativen Debatten ist die Deliberation eine Form der politischen Kommunikation, die den Austausch rationaler Argumente aller Beteiligten und deren gemeinsame Reflektion als Grundlage hat. Im Ergebnis dessen werden nicht nur die jeweiligen Positionen deutlicher, sondern auch die Formulierung von Kompromisses einfacher. Die Ungewissheit, sei sie allgemeiner Natur oder eher regional bzw. Deliberation scheint daher eine ebenso ratsame wie wirksame Form der politischen Kommunikation, die demokratische Antwort auf die Herausforderungen der Gegenwart darstellt.
Daher scheint es notwendig den Einsatz von deliberativen Methoden zu rechtfertigen. Dabei dreht es sich fundamental um Werte und subjektive Erfahrungen. Um diesen Punkt zu illustrieren soll hier kurz auf die Garnisonkirche in Potsdam eingegangen werden. Mit einem feierlichen Gottesdienst sollte am Oktober der Start der Bauarbeiten gefeiert werden.
Mit einem riesigen Festakt feierten an diesem Tag die Nationalsozialisten ihre Machtergreifung. Sie stellen jedoch klar, dass sie ein Denkmal des Friedens errichten wollen und damit einen Beitrag leisten wollen zur Wiedergewinnung der historischen Stadtmitte Potsdams. Auch im Jahr wurde von der Potsdamer Stadtverwaltung eine Planungswerkstatt, in welcher zahlreiche Experten zusammenkamen, organisiert. Drei sogenannte Leitfassaden sollen nach historischem Vorbild wiederaufgebaut werden. Seit wurden Obwohl vieler dieser Gelder zweckgebunden sind, wurde in der Vergangenheit um den Einsatz dieser Gelder gestritten.
Der Stadtverwaltung werfen sie vor, wenige Anwohner auf Kosten der Mehrheit zu privilegieren. Die Stadtverwaltung organisierte am 1. Jedoch sind die Strukturen dieses Forums nicht auf Deliberation ausgelegt. Die Stadtverwaltung organisierte ebenfalls Informationsveranstaltungen. Diese Veranstaltungen erlauben keinen Austausch, da der Kommunikationsstrom nur in eine Richtung floss. Damit stellen sie auch keine deliberativen Veranstaltungen da. Die erste Phase des Auswahlverfahren fand zwischen dem Deliberation hat immer den Nachteil, dass die Teilnehmerzahl schlussendlich begrenzt ist.
In Potsdam ist das nicht anders. Stellen wir uns vor, wir haben es mit einer Person mit einer eher monistischen Denkweise zu tun. Folglich scheint es ratsam sich an diese Leute oder die, die im Namen dieser Institutionen sprechen, zu halten. So sollte es auch keinen sozialen und politischen Pluralismus oder eine Gewaltenteilung geben. Menschen mit monistischen Denkweisen sind in allen Zeiten und Orten zu finden.
Sie alle sind gegen Pluralisten. Blokland , , , , , Menschen werden durch eine Vielzahl von psychologischen, sozialen und intellektuellen Faktoren in Richtung des Monismus getrieben. Hier konzentrieren wir uns auf Ideen. Auch wenn die Motive hinter dem monistischen Extremismus nicht intellektuell sind, wird die Position selbst am Ende immer mit Ideen verteidigt.
Vieles von dem, was wir glauben, bleibt implizit und unreflektiert Kahneman Um den vorherigen Gedanken fortzusetzen: Menschen haben metaphysische z. Bestimmte Werte zu haben, ist vor allem kein Zufall. Woher kommen diese Werte? Wir wissen es nicht, aber es ist auch nicht wirklich notwendig, diese Frage zu beantworten. Fakt ist, diese Werte existieren. Ihre Existenz erleben wir alle. Wenn wir Werte diskutieren, beziehen wir uns auf Werte und Konflikte, mit denen wir alle vertraut sind. Aber das ist nicht alles. Dieses Netz von Ideen und Werten ist in seiner Gesamtheit plausibel und attraktiv im Vergleich zu konkurrierenden Netzen.
Brecht , Lindblom , Konzepte der Freiheit, Autonomie, Demokratie, Gleichheit, Gerechtigkeit sind dabei nicht nur empirisch, sondern auch normativ informiert. Warum haben so viele Menschen diese Intuition? Ebenso ist Freiheit mit Gleichheit verbunden. Daher haben sie das Recht, gleich behandelt zu werden. Es bedeutet auch nicht, dass wir die Deliberation aufgeben sollten.
Wir machen es einfach. Was bleibt, sind Interessenkonflikte, und diese Konflikte werden von den Machthabern entschieden. Es gibt keine normative Rechtfertigung, warum die Verhinderung eines Krieges Aller gegen Alle wichtig ist. Wertrelativismus ist der Tod von Demokratie, Deliberation und Toleranz. Alle deliberativen Institutionen, die mit der Demokratie einhergehen — Meinungsfreiheit, Vereinigungsfreiheit, Parlamente, freie Presse, Wahlen usw. Relativisten haben hier nichts zu bieten.
Toleranz bedeutet, dass eine Person ihre eigenen ausgewogenen Werte hat und, dass sie versteht, dass jemand anderes zu einer anderen Auswertung gekommen ist. Die Person muss dieser Auswertung nicht zustimmen, aber sie versteht, woher die unterschiedliche Auswertung kommt und respektiert diese. Es geht um Empathie. Wertrelativismus ist es nicht. Viele dieser Intuitionen und Erfahrungen werden wahrscheinlich von den Inhabern der monistischen Weltanschauung geteilt.
Zudem vergleichen wir nicht einzelne Werte, sondern konkurrierende Netze oder Wertnetze. Der intellektuellen Deliberation sind jedoch keine Grenzen gesetzt. Two concepts of liberty. Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford University Press, Does political theory still exists? Freedom and Culture in the Western World. Berlin on liberalism and pluralism: Modernization and its Political Consequences. Pluralism, Democracy and Political Knowledge. Burlington VT and Farnham: Some important lessons from political science on political participation and democratization.
Why social scientists should help people to find out what they want. Debating values and cultural identity with newcomers and natives in Europe. How to debate values in a diverse Europe. How postmodernism advanced populism: How to deliberate fundamental values? Notes from Brandenburg on our Approach and Experiences. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. On the contestability of social and political concepts. The Free Press of Glencoe. A Strategy of Decision: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy third impression. Unwin University Books, Powers, Possessions and Freedom: Essays in Honour of C.
University of Toronto Press. Rockefeller; Michael Walzer and Susan Wolf. Politics as a Vocation Politik als Beruf , vert. Essays in Sociology , London, Routledge, , p. Imagine we are dealing with a person with a rather monistic mindset, thus believing, assuming or hoping that all questions can only have one right answer, that all these answers can be neatly, harmoniously ordered in one consistent system, that some people or institutions the church, the party, the movement, the state have better knowledge of these right answers, and, consequently, that it is rational and wise to adhere to these people or the ones speaking for these institutions.
He or she might also believe or assume that the right answers should pervade and enlighten all spheres of life and society. Therefore, a separation between church and state, or between party and state, is not wanted. Neither are social and political pluralism, or a division of powers: And then a few of the people with this mindset might also be so convinced of the truth of their answers, that they do not see any point in tolerating the false answers of others: People with monistic mindsets are of all times and all places. They can be found among Christians, Jews, Muslims, Marxists, Maoists, Fascists, and many other passions and obsessions.
They all oppose pluralists, people believing that many questions, certainly ethical and political ones, can have different plausible answers, that these answers often clash and, consequently, that compromises are continuously wanted. This believe is translated in recommendations about how social and political life should be organized: Therefore, a plurality of religious, social and political organizations is the inevitable outcome of these freedoms, an outcome that should be welcomed and furthered as the expression of the truth of pluralism cf.
People are driven towards monism by a variety of psychological, social and intellectual factors. Here we concentrate on ideas. Also when the motivations behind monist extremism are non-intellectual, the position itself is in the end always defended with ideas. These ideas bring forth intolerance, oppression, tyranny and violence, and for this reason need to be confronted.
Obviously, we can always call in the police or the army, but before we do so, how could we get into a deliberation with people thinking, feeling or hunching in a monistic direction? First it has to be recognized that people rarely have a well-considered, coherent worldview Lane , To the extent that they have any ideas on humans, society and world, they are also not always aware of their assumptions. Much of what we believe stays implicit and unreflected Kahneman Many of our beliefs and assumptions can also stay unfounded, unjustified, incoherent and inconsistent because we are hardly ever asked to make them explicit and to critically evaluate them.
We ourselves are not always very motivated to entertain this activity either: Often, it simply feels better to avoid deep thinking and to stay in the dark. Nevertheless, this darkness can cause personal, social and political problems. When this is the case, the problems and their causes need to be confronted, and deliberation, a joint search for the foundations of our thinking, might help. Thus, deliberating fundamental ideas might further the awareness of assumptions, their consequences, and the extent to which they hang or do not hang together.
Awareness of assumptions might already bring people to doubt and reconsider these: Awareness of the logical consequences of particular assumptions might cause the same: Furthermore, because certain assumptions might not fit together, and people mostly feel a need to be consistent, people might reconsider and refute some of them: Still, I personally experience that values continuously clash and need to be balanced, and that also the current societal implementations of supposed superior insights cause clashes and incongruences between values, and certainly with my personal values.
Maybe, a more accurate description of our human condition is that there is a wide variety of values and goals all worth dying for but that, unfortunately, these values and goals often clash and consequently have to be balanced cf. Thus, deliberating monistic or any other assumptions could already make sense because this will make them explicit and open for evaluation, refinement, reconsideration and even refutation. To continue on this road: The assumption that when two people have different normative priorities in particular circumstances, one or both of them must be mistaken, can simply not match with how we have experienced life and interrelationships, or with our preexisting intuitions wherever they come from.
People have metaphysical e. These assumptions are in different degrees explicated, contemplated and interrelated. Our ethical assumptions or values are the most consequential for other human beings in our daily dealings. Discussions of ethical assumptions are therefore often most wanted for. What makes up a rational discussion on values? Having particular values, first of all, is not a pure coincidence. They are an expression of what we consider to be inherent to the human condition, of what we consider to be essential to human life. That explains why we can in principle understand these people and their cultural products, even when their cultures vanished thousands of years ago.
They might have balanced conflicting values in different ways, but the conflict we recognize, empathize and understand, as are the values that need to be balanced. There is a limit to the variety of values we can imagine, there is a minimum of values that we share as human beings Blokland In his famous essay Does political theory still exist? Where do these values originate? We do not know, but it is also not really necessary to answer this question.
Maybe a God created them, maybe biology and natural selection is the source. Fact is, these values exist. Their existence we all experience. We all struggle with their clashes and the needed balances. And we can build on that. When we discuss values we refer to values and conflicts we are all familiar with. Thus, we can criticize normative positions by confronting these with the values and the clashes between values we all experience and recognize. There is a limit to the variety of normative positions we are able to imagine and willing to accept as part of the human condition.
Somebody who likes to shoot people in a mall or at a school, is not a person with a unique hobby, but just a mad man. But this is not all. Values hang together, are connected, in different configurations in different circumstances. A justification of a particular value also consists of references to the other values relevant for the particular case or situation. One does not look for an ultimate value behind the value that has to be justified, instead one shows in which ways conflicting values have been balanced, how other relevant values are connected and are respected by fulfilling the value that has to be justified, why the costs of realizing the value are reasonable compared to the costs of realizing other significant values.
In other words, we do not deliberate single assumptions, ideas or values, but also place them in a wider context. We do not discuss ideas or values as separate, distinct entities; instead, we develop together an understanding of a web of interrelated, interdependent and mutually supporting ideas and values. This web of ideas and values in its entirety has plausibility and attraction in comparison to competing webs. The level of plausibility depends on the extent to which it resonates with our already existing normative intuitions, the extent to which this web of ideas and values forms a coherent and consistent whole, and the extent to which it can be grounded on the always provisional empirical knowledge we have on man and society.
Already by putting assumptions, ideas or values in context, we undermine the plausibility of monism. The context makes clear that ideas and values regularly clash, that we cannot always have it all, that we often need to strike balances, and that we cannot do this once and for all, but have to do this continuously, under endlessly changing circumstances where values have different weights and urgencies. In other words, how we weigh up different values depends on the circumstances and the set of values relevant for these circumstances.
We also do not weigh up values in the abstract, but always in relation to the costs of realizing them, the costs of realizing connected values, and the consequences of their realization for other values cf. Hence, the value of negative freedom — the ability to do or to be what one is able to do or to be without the interference of others — is probably ranked higher in a totalitarian state than in a stable open democracy. Furthermore, although many of us would like to live a life that is incredibly adventurous or epic and at the same time incredibly secure or sheltered, we know that we need to strike a balance.
We also know that the relative costs of achieving more security and shelter increase disproportionally the more secure and sheltered we are. Characteristically, these concepts are strongly interrelated and get their meaning in a somewhat consistent and coherent network of related concepts. When defining one concept we invariably make use of other concepts. And any discussion of a particular concept creates at some point the need to discuss other concepts as well Gallie ; Gray ; Blokland Furthermore, these concepts always get their meaning in the framework of a social and political theory or web of ideas, a theory that ultimately rests on visions on humanity, society and world.
Since these visions are inescapably philosophically inspired, these meanings are always open to debate. But this does not imply that every given meaning is equally plausible. Consequently, in collaboration with the participants of our deliberative workshops, we explore, examine and think through how ideas on concepts like democracy, freedom, tolerance and emancipation hang together, feed and support each other, and are ultimately based on our understandings what it means to be a human being and what it means to live in a decent society.
Together we try to develop an understanding of a complex web of mutually reinforcing values, ideas and perspectives. For example, every definition of freedom also rests on a particular view of woman. We have some explicit or more often implicit ideas and expectations on what constitutes a woman, what is a normal life, what are comprehensible, reasonable or plausible preferences and activities.
These ideas and expectations are informed by what we have learned over the years about human beings in art, literature, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, anthropology, politics or history. This knowledge can always be questioned and is always provisional. But it is not completely subjective, unsubstantiated and groundless. Besides, conceptions of freedom, autonomy, democracy, equality, justice are not just empirically, but also normatively informed.
We have strong intuitions about the meaning and importance of freedom. Freedom is also an ideal about the Good life in a Good society, something we strive for, even when we know that we will never manage to fulfill this ideal completely. Intuitions also hang together, and feed and strengthen each other.
Most people have the strong intuition that they need, and also have a right on, a private sphere where they can make their own decisions and live out their own preferences. They do not like to be belittled, to be told by others how to live their life. Paternalism is a denial of their capacity for autonomy. Why do so many people have this intuition? As implicated above, ideals like freedom also need reality-checks, have to make sense empirically. Has she been raised, encouraged or empowered in an appropriate way?
Is she adequately aware of alternative preferences? Might she suffer from depression? In the same way, we can define freedom as complete independence, as no interference whatsoever in our life, as the possibility to do or to be whatever we want. This kind of freedom definitely has an appeal and we can strive for a personal life or a society where this ideal is fulfilled.
How do they usually develop their own thing, how do they develop their own preferences? Usually via a long, persistent exchange with other human beings and their cultural products. Acculturalization, socialization, education and all other influences that in the end form our identities are all interferences or invasions in our negative freedom, the ability to be or to do what one is able to be or to do, without the interference of others.
Still, they are necessary conditions for the development of an autonomous person that can enjoy freedom. Striving for a society with absolute negative freedom, where people are completely on their own and where they are never influenced or bothered by others, destroys freedom Blokland , One can compare it with artistic taste: Those who assume that it is not possible to have any meaningful discussion on taste, and continuously avoid this confrontation with alternative cultural expressions, have little chance to develop a personal taste.
The value of personal freedom, the above makes clear, hangs together with other values that are also essentially contested concepts. When we need the presence of alternatives in all possible realms of life to make informed, really free choices, then an open, pluralist society harboring cultural pluralism has more to offer than a closed autocratic system.
Likewise, freedom is related to equality. Normatively, we assume that all people are equal in their ability to be or to become free. Empirically, we also have not found much reasons to believe otherwise. Therefore, they have a right to be treated in equal ways. Thus, values hang together, but can also clash.
They then have to be balanced. Complete fulfillment of one particular value, like freedom, can have severe consequences for the realization of other values, like equality or justice. Therefore, the extent to which we try to fulfill a value should always be moderated by other relevant values. Mature people are led by, what Weber called, a Verantwortungsethik , and not by a Gesinnungsethik.
But on top of that, the fulfillment of values should be moderated by empirical considerations regarding man and society. Knowing that people are social beings that can only develop their full potential via human interrelationships and cultural exchanges, should prevent us to strive for an atomistic, hyper individualized society on behalf of the value of freedom.
Are there in practice limits to the abilities of people to discuss their values? People, studies show, turn out only to be prepared and to be able to openly discuss their inner convictions, to accept the existence of different views and of complexity, to accept the better argument, when they feel safe and respected. The lack of this during childhood is very difficult to repair via education, deliberation or big structures and big processes.
This does not mean that we should give up on creating big structures which offer more opportunities for the Good life and, especially, the Good childhood. Nor does it mean that we should give up on deliberation. We simply do not have another option. As the above made clear, ethical pluralism, the position defended here, is something different than value relativism or cultural relativism.
Cultural relativism is the belief that all cultures are unique and can only be understood and evaluated from the inside. But not so between representatives of different cultures: Cultural relativism is not only widespread among broadminded, tolerant, western liberals. Despots like this standpoint too: Value or ethical relativism is the conviction that values are incomparable and often incommensurable. Values are simply given and in no need of any justification. We just go for it.
Rational discussions about the relative importance of values are in the end impossible and useless. What remains are conflicts of interest and these conflicts are decided by power. Democracy is a functional rational method to prevent these conflicts from becoming overly violent cf.
Value relativism is the death of democracy, deliberation and tolerance. It is ethical pluralism that forms the foundation of democracy, deliberation and tolerance. Value relativists are not able to give a justification of democracy itself. A civil war can also be prevented by an enlightened king. All the deliberative institutions that come with democracy — freedom of speech, freedom of association, parliaments, free press, elections, etc.
Only pluralists are able to get into a deliberation with representatives of monistic worldviews. Relativists have nothing to offer here. Tolerance is often confused with indifference. Tolerance means that a person has her own balanced set of values and that she comprehends that somebody else came to a different balance.
She does not agree, but she does understand where the different evaluation comes from and she respects this evaluation. It is about empathy. Indifference is something else, but often taken as tolerance. Somebody who is indifferent will probably hardly have thought through any set of values, not of his own and certainly not of others.
He just does not care. That is why it is dangerous when societies or political cultures out of fear of disagreements abstain too long from discussing their fundamental values. That is why the postmodernist culture of the eighties and nineties, dominant in a country like the Netherlands, is partly responsible for preparing the ground for right-wing populist as Geert Wilders Blokland Intolerance towards intolerance is often interpreted as intolerance.
However, many people who do not want Nazis or Stalinists to educate their children, to hold public office or to organize mass meetings are not intolerant, they simply take tolerance much more serious than those who do not care. As said, the truth of democracy is that there is a wide variety of significant values and goals but that, unfortunately, these values and goals often clash and consequently have to be balanced.
Tolerance for groups that deny this truth and that want to install a permanent, irreversible regime that only tolerates one universal monistic truth, is not tolerance, but intolerance towards tolerance. Therefore, in a democracy fascist groups striving for the overturn of democracy should be outlawed.
Value relativism is not. Democracy is also not related to indifference: And as we tried to make plausible above, this is also possible. Can we get in a sensible deliberation with people hunching or thinking in a monist direction? In many different ways, on many different levels.
We can first try to make implicit assumptions explicit and by doing so enable their critical evaluation. Second, we can confront the values within a monist worldview with our intuitions and experiences regarding values. Many of these intuitions and experiences are likely shared by the holders of this worldview. And, thirdly, we can deliberate particular values by putting them in a wider context which makes them more or less plausible and attractive.
We can analyze how they hang together with other values, how they together constitute a web of interrelated, interdependent and mutually supporting ideas. Particular ideas do not fit in this web and consequently lose plausibility. And we do not compare individual values, but competing webs or networks of values. Their plausibility and attractiveness rests on the extent to which they resonate with our already existing normative intuitions, the extent to which they form a coherent and consistent whole, and the extent to which they can be grounded on the transitory empirical knowledge we have on humans and society.
Deliberation has psychological and social limitations. Not taking these into account adequately, can severely undermine deliberation on the intellectual level. Nevertheless, this intellectual deliberation has no limits. Before we start shooting, much can be achieved. Relativism, indifference or tolerance towards monist worldviews is not helpful in these deliberations.
Open, pluralist democracies will survive any monist threat when they continue to do what they are good at: Only the author is responsible for the content of the article. Das verbindende Ziel der unterschiedlichen islamistischen Vereinigungen ist es einen Staat zu formen, der den Islam in das gesellschaftliche Leben und die Politik integriert.
Politik, Rechtwesen und Wissenschaft hat Metzger, Deswegen unterscheiden sich die unterschiedlichen islamistischen Gruppierungen in ihrer Einstellung zur Gewalt. Einige lehnen die Gewalt komplett ab, wie z. Zurzeit leben etwa 5 Millionen Menschen mit muslimischem Hintergrund in Deutschland, welche ihre Religion verschieden ausleben. Nur ein sehr kleiner Teil etwa Mit Ende des ersten Weltkriegs begann dann eine Art geopolitischer Niedergang des islamischen Reiches.
Die muslimische Welt konnte nur hilflos zusehen. Zur Folge dessen, wurden ca. Ansatzpunkt der Bewegung ist es, dass die Religion nicht nur im privaten und spirituellen Bereich gilt, sondern auf alle Lebensbereiche Einfluss haben soll. Der neue Aufschwung der islamistischen Bewegungen resultierte jedoch auch in neuen Auflagen der Konflikte zwischen Sunniten und Schiiten.
Die jihadistische Organisation wurde das erste islamistische Netzwerk mit globalem Anspruch. September in New York und entfachte den von George W. Dies befeuert weiter das westliche Feindbild dieser islamistischen Gruppierungen. Gewaltakte sind jedoch auch gegen Muslime gerichtet, die nicht genau den gleichen Glauben teilen z. Jahrhundert gelebt wurde, an. Sie heben meist die friedlichen Seiten des Islam hervor, da diese Islamisten wenig auf Konfrontation mit dem Staat aus sind, sondern eher bestrebt sind die Leute zu belehren und zu bekehren, in der Hoffnung, dass diese ihren Lebensstil anpassen und Islamkonformer Leben.
Jedoch lehnen die Salafisten die deutsche Grundordnung, wie z. Seine Nachkommen haben es im Kernmerkmal der Jihadisten ist es, dass sie ihre salafistische Ideologie mit Gewalt durchsetzen wollen. Anstelle von nationaler oder kultureller Identifikation, tritt dann eine Bindung an Gleichgesinnte in einer imaginierten muslimischen Solidargemeinschaft Logvinov, Politiker und Forscher sind sich einig, dass die soziale Komponente wichtig im Radikalisierungsprozess ist.
Was darf ich arbeiten? Wer darf mein Freund sein? Wie sollte ich mein Leben gestalten? Wie habe ich mich zu kleiden? Wie verhalte ich mich in gewissen Situationen? Diese Richtlinien bleiben immer dieselben. Egal ob ich Zuhause, oder in einem fremden Land und einer fremden Kultur bin. Religion gibt Halt, Struktur und vermeintliche Antworten. Je strenger man die Religion auslegt, und in umso mehr Lebensbereiche diese vordringt, desto einflussreicher und dirigierender wird diese Religion in dem Leben der Menschen. Auch dies ist, wie schon angemerkt, kein islamistisch spezifisches Symptom.
Ein Grund weshalb die Islamisten und die westliche Gesellschaft in einem stetigen Konflikt stehen, der sich nicht zu beruhigen scheint, sind die verschiedenen philosophischen Weltansichten. Der Islam predigt eine monistische Denkweise, und will seine Gesellschaft auch nach einem solchen System ordnen. Im Gegensatz zu den Monisten, unterrichten Pluralisten, dass vor allem ethische Fragen oft mehrere plausible Antworten haben.
Sie denken, dass es viele verschiedene beachtliche Werte gibt, aber diese Werte leider oft kollidieren. Pluralismus ist also etwas anderes als Relativismus. In verschiedenen Kontexten stehen diese Werte jedoch auf unterschiedliche Weise im Widerspruch und verlangen nach einem Kompromiss Berlin , Taylor , cf.
Blokland , , , In einer pluralistischen Gesellschaft wird der Austausch von Ideen, Werten und Weltansichten angeregt. Eine gesunde Gesellschaft erfindet sich stets neu. Dieser Einfluss geht so weit, dass z. Der Konflikt zwischen Monisten und Pluralisten ist kein neues Ereignis. Diese Deliberation kann informell und privat gestaltet werden, aber auch in speziellen Seminaren und Workshops stattfinden, in denen diese Art von Diskussion und Reflektion geleitet und hinterfragt wird. Es geht darum implizite Ideen explizit zu benennen und zu besprechen. Das Gedankengeflecht des Pluralismus sollte verstanden und stets hinterfragt werden, um die Verbindungen und Kompromisse zwischen Ideen zu verinnerlichen.
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