Central European Journal of Politics

Peer-Reviewed Journal

Central European Journal of Politics, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2021)



Petr Bláha: The role of political theory in contemporary political science

Abstract: What is the role of political theory within political science? Today, political philosophy belongs to the standard content of political science and its position is fully respected. And this is precisely due to the expansion of the possibilities and capabilities of researchers. At its core, political science is a science of democracy. But how can we study democracy empirically if we do not define the boundaries of what democracy really is? Political theory does not necessarily yield normative positions. But it is a valuable tool for understanding the social reality that can be empirically investigated. That is why we have also decided to devote an issue of our journal to the current state of art in political theory in political science.

Keywords: Political theory, political philosophy, political science, social science

How to cite: Bláha, P. 2021. “The role of political theory in contemporary political science.” Central European Journal of Politics 7 (2): 1–3. DOI: 10.24132/cejop_2021_5

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/cejop_2021_5


David Aristotelis Fusiek: Hegel in a postcolonial world: Populist authoritarianism, postcolonialism, and the master–slave dialectic

Abstract: The paper seeks to offer a Hegelian-inspired normative explanation of the utilization of postcolonial arguments by authoritarian states to challenge Western norms. In the last decades, several authoritarian politicians like Modi and Erdoğan have used postcolonial concepts to justify a range of questionable essentialist and nationalistic policies of new imperialism. Whereas scholars and policymakers have identified this phenomenon as pragmatic manoeuvring by politicians, they have failed to either incorporate the role of the West in their analysis or explain the efficiency of this rhetoric within national contexts. The previously successful practice of retreating to universal Western norms has become impractical due to the overall lack of consensus on existing social hierarchies and Western values. Since the increasingly popular practice appears as a contextual epiphenomenon of a globalized issue, broader frameworks are required to make sense of these increasing distortions of postcoloniality. As such, the paper argues for a Hegelian approach that positions the West/Europe and the populist authoritarian states in a master–slave dialectic. The dialectic offers a normative and rational reading of this problematic postcolonial phenomenon, one that not only shows the past and contemporary circumstances of its formulation but also helps us eliminate or, more realistically, understand the phenomenon. It also incorporates in the analysis the role of domestic factors and the inter-subjective influence of the West/Europe on the formulation of a postcolonial identity and discourse. Furthermore, the paper argues that populist and authoritarian governments do not manage to overcome the master–slave dialectic but instead exploit it to maximize their political gains. Hence, after placing Hegel’s master–slave dialectic in the international relation corpus, the paper uses a dialogical model to examine the Turkish Justice and Development Party’s postcolonialist colonialism and show the benefits of the master–slave dialectic in analysing the phenomenon.

Keywords: Hegel, postcolonial world, populist authoritarianism, postcolonialism, master–slave dialectic

How to cite: Fusiek, D.A. 2021. “Hegel in a postcolonial world: Populist authoritarianism, postcolonialism, and the master–slave dialectic.” Central European Journal of Politics 7 (2): 4–30. DOI: 10.24132/cejop_2021_6

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/cejop_2021_6

Alina Z. Ananieva & Zinaida I. Rozhkova: Paradoxes of Legitimacy in Mass Democracies

Abstract: The issue of establishing political legitimacy is a complicated one in political philosophy. Strengthening legitimacy is an essential task for modern democracies. The danger of underestimating the threat to the state posed by an illegitimate government becomes obvious in the context of the second half of the twentieth century. The article reveals some essential aspects of the functioning of legitimacy in modern mass democracies. The authors analyze the concept of “legitimacy”, referring to the main interpretations, and demonstrate how the distinction between the normative and descriptive concepts of political legitimacy helps us better understand legitimacy. The primary purpose is to find an approach to answering the question: What degree and form of political participation in the framework of representative democracy will satisfy the condition of legitimacy in modern regimes?

Keywords: Political legitimacy, political philosophy, democracy, consent, normative concept, descriptive concept, political regime

How to cite: Ananieva, A.Z. and Rozhkova, Z.I. 2021. “Paradoxes of Legitimacy in Mass Democracies.” Central European Journal of Politics 7 (2): 31–47. DOI: 10.24132/cejop_2021_7

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/cejop_2021_7

Hynek Tippelt: Logical Polis. The Philosophical Foundation of Democracy According to B. Spinoza

Abstract: As part of its “War on Terror”, the United States (US) provided immense sums of money and advanced equipment to Afghan warlords in order to defeat and dismantle the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Nearly two decades after the 2001 US-led intervention in Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban regime, the US continues supporting the warlords in various ways. As the intervention was also aimed at establishing a functioning state and reconstruction of the war-torn country, the US needed the support of local warlords to achieve its goals. However, over time, warlords and warlordism became a major challenge to the post-Taliban state-building project and in many ways undermined the overall security and the state monopoly on violence. These warlords, who had been mostly expelled and defeated by the Taliban regime, returned under the aegis of the B52 bombers, recaptured parts of the country and reestablished their fiefdoms with US support and resources. They not only resist giving up the power and prestige they have accumulated over the past few years, but also hamper the effort to improve governance and enact necessary reforms in the country. In addition, many of them run their private militias and have been accused of serious human rights abuses as well as drug trafficking, arms smuggling, illegal mining and extortion in the areas under their control or influence. In many ways, they challenge the government authority and have become a major hurdle to the country’s emerging from lawlessness and anarchy. This paper explores the emergence and re-emergence of warlords in Afghanistan as well as the evolution of chaos and anarchy in the country, especially after the US-led intervention of late 2001. It also analyzes the impact of the post-9/11 US support to Afghan warlords and its negative consequences for the overall stability and the US-led state-building process in Afghanistan.

Keywords: Spinoza, democracy, crisis of democracy, pantheism, holism

How to cite: Tippelt, H. 2021. “Logical Polis. The Philosophical Foundation of Democracy According to B. Spinoza.” Central European Journal of Politics 7 (2): 48–63. DOI: 10.24132/cejop_2021_8

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/cejop_2021_8

Mario Mikhail: A Messianic Life Can Be Lived Rightly: Democracy contra the Capitalist-Sovereign Order

Abstract: Interpreting and staging the past is an integral part of politics in its different forms. Selected historical events that are attached greater importance have often been contested politically. In the last two decades or so, clashes over the past have escalated in most consolidated democracies and have become more closely linked with other dimensions of political conflict. In the already consolidated Czech democracy, disputes have reopened over both the Communist regime and a much older past, with history fully entering the political agenda. These conflicts have been centred on both the historical subjects and fundamental points of collective memory, and on locations related to that memory and history. In a specific time and space, those places represent a certain tale, a certain interpretation of historical events, and at the same time allow for the development of other tales, often updated and in some cases politically contested. The forms and nature of the physical places of collective memory may vary. Firstly, these may be places “where bodies lie or have lain” – mass graves, destroyed communities or other places of collective suffering. This paper tackles this issue and analyses the narratives constructed by leading Czech politicians of the WWII Roma concentration camp in Lety. It presents the main arguments of the competing narratives and their changes throughout the post-Communist period.

Keywords: Democracy, sovereignty, capitalism, biopolitics, necropolitics, messianism

How to cite: Mikhail, M. 2021. “A Messianic Life Can Be Lived Rightly: Democracy contra the Capitalist-Sovereign Order.” Central European Journal of Politics 7 (2): 64–75. DOI: 10.24132/cejop_2021_9

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/cejop_2021_9

Asad Shukhrat-Zade: Phantasmagoria

Abstract: This paper provides a philosophical reflection of the crisis of democracy. Its central research focus is on what is referred to as “the world of artificial images and the lost truth” (or phantasmagoria), where the West European society experiences a sequence of distorted perceptions of reality (simulacra) broken down between various social movements, and the effect of those on the conflict-settling function of democracy, which less and less observable in contemporary societies of Western Europe. Starting from this very brief description, the article elaborates the issue of lost truth and meaning as well as the resurrection of myth based on a multitude of sub-realities or simulacra, which deprive democracy of its conflict settling mechanism and prevent social groups/movements in an atomized society from discursive consensus building.

Keywords: Democracy, crisis of democracy, phantasmagoria, sub-realities, simulacra, truth, myth

How to cite: Shukhrat-Zade, A. 2021. “Phantasmagoria.” Central European Journal of Politics 7 (2): 76–91. DOI: 10.24132/cejop_2021_10

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/cejop_2021_10


Daniel Štěpánek: Socio-political recognition of the Self. Remarks on Butler’s Force of Non-violence with regards to Benhabib’s critique

Abstract: In her latest book Force of Non-violence, Judith Butler lays out an updated model of gender performativity. This model relies on rapprochement of a recent criticism of her social ontology published in Seyla Benhabib’s book Exile, Statelessness, and Migration. Although Butler does not address Benhabib directly, the aim of this article is to show Butler’s possible arguments that can be seen as defence and further development of her concept of the Self. Thus, the necessary comparison of both authors is provided and with it also a discussion of their possible common ground.

Keywords: Recognition, grievability, livability, social ontology, feminist theory, Butler, Benhabib

How to cite: Štěpánek, D. 2021. “Socio-political recognition of the Self. Remarks on Butler’s Force of Non-violence with regards to Benhabib’s critique.” Central European Journal of Politics 7 (2): 92–105. DOI: 10.24132/cejop_2021_11

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/cejop_2021_11