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Some authors say that democracy is changing.

"In a democratic system, the State has a legal monopoloy on the use of public violence because a particular political community, the nation, legitimises this monopoly. This is why it is often said that the State is the legal embodiment of a sovereign nation. Ultimately, the regulatory power of the State depends on its territorially defined authority. Stated differently, the State obtains its authority from a community of citizens living in a particular territory.

While this theoretical construction of political organisation in modern societies is ingenious, it does not stand up to reality. As Rosanvallon points out, there is a 'persistent contradiction between political and sociological approaches to the principle of democracy. In political approaches, democracy establishes the power of a collective subject; however, sociological scrutiny weakens the collective subject and reduces its visibility' (Rosanvallon 2003, p. 25). This paper will not deal extensively with critiques of formal democracy or the abstract universalism of Enlightenment philosophers, since they are already well known. Suffice to say they remind us that the concept of citizen equality at the root of modern democracy remains an ideal and that there is a permanent hiatus between the modern philosophical-political vision of the world on the one hand and observable sociological phenomena on the other hand. This hiatus sustains the thesis that there are recurrent crises in citizenship, democracy, societal institutions and the model of integration. These crises also suggest the possibility of regenerating democracy at different levels and in diverse forms."

from Jules Duchastel and Raphaël Canet, trans. Stuart-Anthony Stilitz, "The Transformation of Citizenship and Democracy at Local and Global Levels", in Metropolitan Democracies, Transformations of the State and Urban Policy in Canada, France and Great Britain, Philip Booth and Bernard Jouve, eds. (London: Ashgate, 2005) at p. 13-14.

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