Democracy under siege: Democratic solidarity between global crisis and cosmopolitan hope

  • Hauke Brunkhorst University of Flensburg


For almost half a century (between 1940 and 1990) the democratic and social state has solved the twofold problem of growth and social exclusion through social inclusion within the borders of the national state. This solution since the 1970s came under threat of multiple crises of the environment, secular stagnation, under-consumption, legitimization and constitutionalization. There might be a social solution of present crisis possible through massive redistribution plus decent basic income (on the level of tuition-costs) plus green growth. However, after globalization of capital there are no longer national social alternatives available. Therefore, there is no alternative to transnational democratic state-formation. But are there actors relevant, strong and motivated enough to do that?
Keywords: growth, environment, secular stagnation, under-consumption, legitimization crisis, global capitalism, transnational democracy



Ackerman, Bruce, Alstott, Anne (2001), Die Stakeholder-Gesellschaft. Ein Modell für mehr Chancengleichheit, Frankfurt am Main: Campus;
Baran, Paul A., Sweezy, Paul M. (1967), Monopolkapital, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp;
Baran, Paul A., Sweezy, Paul M. (1966), Monopoly Capital, An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order, New York: Monthley Review Press;
Böckenförde, Ernst-Wolfgang (1991), “Demokratie als Verfassungsprinzip”, in Staat, Verfassung, Demokratie, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp: 289–379.
Bright, Charles, Geyer, Michael (2012), “Benchmarks of Globalization: The Global Condition, 1850 – 2010”, in Northrop, D. (ed.), A Companion to World History, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 285–300;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2005), Solidarity – From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community, Cambridge/London: MIT Press;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2007a), “Die Legitimationskrise der Weltgesellschaft. Global Rule of Law, Global Constitutionalism und Weltstaatlichkeit”, in Albert, M. / Stichweh, R. (eds), Weltstaat und Weltstaatlichkeit, Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 63–107;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2007b), “Kommentar zum 18. Brumairedes Louis Bonaparte”, in K. Marx: Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2012), Legitimationskrisen. Verfassungsprobleme der Weltgesellschaft, Baden-Baden: Nomos;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2014a), Das doppelte Gesicht Europas – Zwischen Kapitalismus und Demokratie, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2014b), Critical Theory of Legal Revolutions – Evolutionary Perspectives, London/New York: Bloomsbury;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2016)‚ “Democratic Solidarity Under Siege – Decay of Constitutionalization and the Crisis of Public Law and Public Opinion”, in Kjaer P./ Olsen N. (eds.), Critical Theories of Crisis in Europe, London: Rowman&Littlefield;
Brunkhorst, Hauke (2017), „Selbstbestimmung durch deliberative Demokratie“, Leviathan 45 (1): 21–34.
Crafts, Nicolas (2015), “Is Secular Stagnation the Future for Europe?”, CAGE Working Papers Series 225, Warwick: University of Warwick;
Dawson, Mark, De Witte, Floris (2015), “From Balance to Conflict: A New Constitution for the EU”, European Law Journal 21: 204–224;
Edenhofer, Ottmar et al. (2012), “Die Gretchenfrage des Klimaschutzes: Nun sag, wie hast Du‘s mit dem Eigentum?”, in Müller, T. (ed.), 20 Jahre Recht der Erneuerbaren Energien, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 34–50;
Fraenkel, Ernst (1969), The Dual State, New York: Octagon;
Gordon, Robert J. (2016), Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living since the Civil War, Princeton: Princeton University Press;
Gordon, Robert J., “Is US Economic Growth Over?” Working Paper 18315, (internet) available at: (accessed 7 May 2017);
Gordon, Robert J., “The Demise of U.S. Economic Growth: Restatement, Rebuttal, and Reflections”, NBER Working Paper19895, (internet) available at: (accessed 7 May 2017);
Grözinger, Gerd, Maschke, Michael, Offe, Claus (2006), Die Teilhabegesellschaft. Modell eines neuen Wohlfahrtsstaates, Frankfurt am Main: Campus;
Habermas, Jürgen (1972), Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp;
Habermas, Jürgen (1996), Between Facts and Norms, Cambridge: MIT Press;
Harcourt, Bernard E. (2011), The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press;
Heller, Hermann (2015), “Authoritarian Liberalism”, European Law Journal 3: 295–301;
Judt, Tony (2010), III Fares the Land, New York: Penguin Books;
Katznelson, Ira (2005), When Affirmative Action Was White; New York: W.W. Norton & Company;
Koskenniemi, Martti (1995), “The Police in the Temple. Order, Justice, and UN – A Dialectical View”, European Journal of International Law 6: 325–348;
Koskenniemi, Martti (2002), The Gentle Civilizer of Nations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;
Koskenniemi, Martti (2006), “Constitutionalism as Mindset: Reflections on Kantian Themes About International Law and Globalization”, Theoretical Inquiries in Law 8 (9): 9–36;
Matthias, Albert (2005), “Politik der Weltgesellschaft und Politik der Globalisierung: Überlegungen zur Emergenz von Weltstaatlichkeit”, in Heint, B. / Münch, R. / Tyrell, H. (eds.), Zeitschrift für Soziologie 34 (Sonderheft), Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 223–239;
Marcuse, Herbert (1965), “Der Kampf gegen den Liberalismus in der totalitären Staats¬auffassung”, in H. Marcuse, Kultur und Gesellschaft I, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 17–56;
Marx, Karl (1968), Das Kapital, Bd. 3, Berlin: Dietz;
Marx, Karl (1972), Zur Kritik der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie: Kritik des Hegelschen Staatsrechts, MEW 1, Berlin: Dietz, 201–233;
Marx, Karl (1953), Grundrisse der Kritik der politischen Ökonomie, Berlin: Dietz, English translation available at: (accessed May 14, 2017);
Marx, Karl, Engels, Friedrich (1973), Die deutsche Ideologie, MEW 3, Berlin: Dietz;
Marx, Karl, Engels, Friedrich, Communist Manifesto, Chap. I, (internet) available at: (accessed May 2, 2017);
Mason, Paul (2015), Post-Capitalism, London: Penguin;
Meyer, John et. al. (1997), “World Society and the Nation-State”, American Journal of Sociology 103 (1): 144–181;
Möllers, Christoph (2015), Die Möglichkeit der Normen, Berlin: Suhrkamp;
Murakawa, Naomi (2014), The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America, Oxford: Oxford University Press;
Neves, Marcelo (1992), Verfassung und positives Recht in der peripheren Moderne, Berlin: Duncker & Humblodt;
Neves, Marcelo (1999), “Zwischen Subintegration und Überintegration: Bürgerrechte nicht ernstgenommen”, Kritische Justiz 4, 557–577;
Offe, Claus (2016), “The Dynamic of Secular Stagnation”, paper presented at a conference Jenseits des Kapitalismus, Wuppertal, Feb. 4, 2016;
Osterhammel, Jürgen, Petersson, Niels P. (2003), Geschichte der Globalisierung, München: Verlag C. H. Beck;
Piketty, Thomas (2014), Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press;
Prien, Thore (2014),“Landgrabbing”, Prager Frühling 19;
Schäfers, Armin (2015), Der Verlust politischer Gleicheit; Warum die sinkende Wahlbeteiligung der Demokratie schadet, Frankfurt aM: Campus Verlag;
Shachar, Ayelet (2015), “New Border and Citizenship Constellations: Implications for Law and Justice”, paper presented at the WZB Workshop ‘Critical Theory and Constitutionalism’, Berlin 11.12.2015 (on file with the author), 32–35;
Stichweh, Rudolf (2000), Die Weltgesellschaft, Frankfurt aM: Suhrkamp Verlag;
Streeck, Wolfgang (2005), “Sectoral Specialization: Politics and the Nation State in a Global Economy”, (internet) available at: (accessed 3 May 2017);
Streeck, Wolfgang (2013), Gekaufte Zeit: Die vertagte Krise des demokratischen Kapitalismus, Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag;
Teubner, Gunther (2012), Constitutional Fragments. Societal Constitutionalism and Globalization, Oxford: Oxford University Press;
Thornhill, Chris (2011), A Sociology of Constitutions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;
Tomasky, Michael (2016), “The Dangerous Election”, The New York Review of Books, 5;
Von Bernstorff, Jochen (2012), “Landgrabbing und Menschenrechte”, INEF Forschungsreihe Menschenrechte, Unternehmensverantwortung und Nachhaltige Entwicklung 11/2012, (internet) available at: (accessed 7 May 2017);
Von Bogdandy, Armin (2012), “The European Lesson for International Democracy: The Significance of Articles 9–12 EU Treaty for International Organizations”, The European Journal of International Law 23 (2): 315–34;
Von Bogdandy, Armin, Venzke, Ingo (2014), In Whose Name? A Public Law Theory of International Adjudication, Oxford: Oxford University Press;
Wallerstein, Immanuel (2013), “Structural Crisis, or Why Capitalists no Longer Find Capitalism Rewarding?”, in Wallerstein I. et. al. (eds.), Does Capitalism have a Future?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 9–37;
Weisenthal, Joe (2016),“Gioldman&Sachs Says it May be Forced to Fundamentally Question How Capitalism is Working. The Profit Margins Debate Could Lead to an Unsettling Conclusion”, (internet) available at: (accessed May 7 2017);
Wilkinson, Richard, Pickett, Kate (2010), The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, New York: Bloomsbury.
How to Cite
BRUNKHORST, Hauke. Democracy under siege: Democratic solidarity between global crisis and cosmopolitan hope. Filozofija i društvo / Philosophy and Society, [S.l.], v. 28, n. 2, p. 217-230, july 2017. ISSN 2334-8577. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 sep. 2017. doi: