Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Politische Soziologie und Sozialpolitik

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Sozialwissenschaften | Politische Soziologie und Sozialpolitik | Andreas Schäfer und Wolfgang Merkel: The Temporal Constitution of Democracies

Andreas Schäfer und Wolfgang Merkel: The Temporal Constitution of Democracies

Erschienen in: Klaus H. Goetz (Hg.): The Oxford Handbook of Time and Politics. Oxford University Press

The specific institutionalization of time is a major defining element of democracies and a vulnerable condition of their stability and legitimacy. The first part of the chapter covers the regular temporal routines of democratic systems. In the synchronic dimension, it considers the time requirements of democratic practices and examines the timed relationship between different levels and actors of the democratic system. In the diachronic dimension, the chapter asks for the time horizons that temporal constitutions of democracies create for political actors—related to future expectations and to past experiences. The second part of the chapter turns to time challenges democracies face today. First, it addresses the issue of social acceleration that goes along with potential vulnerabilities and adaptabilities of democratic systems. Second, the chapter discusses problems created by situations of crisis in states of emergency and in democratic transitions. Based on that, the chapter draws some conclusions for future research.

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