Ondřej Lánský is the director of the Centre of Global Studies (The Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences) and the head of the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy (Faculty of Education, Charles University). In his research, he focuses on the relationship between politics and society. He especially analyses the role of elites and oligarchy in political and social processes. In addition, his research revolves around democracy, postcolonialism, and resilience.
Jan Bíba is an assistant professor at the Political Science Department, Faculty of Arts, Charles University. His research focuses primarily on democratic theory and theories of political representation.
Resilient Democracy: Between Democratization and Institutionalization (Jan Bíba, Ondřej Lánský)
This paper focuses on two issues related to political institutions' resilience. Firstly, the paper defines the basic meanings of the resilience concept in contemporary democratic theory. It poses the questions of to what extent resilience is a proxy term substituting other established democratic theory concepts and to what extent it has its proper meaning. Secondly, the paper suggests that the use of the concept of democratic resilience is an expression of the current search for a balance between institutionalization and democratization. The paper attempts to demonstrate this with an example of contemporary climate movements' demands. These demands show that planet-wide challenges, such as climate change, imply rather technocratic than democratic solutions. However, the paper suggests that the likely transformation of the political order caused by these challenges can be grasped by resilience theory. The reason is that resilience theory generally conceives of modifications in an adaptive sense, i.e. the continuation of a system through its partial change. The paper also attempts to answer the question of what form democratic resilience should (or could) take in this case.