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Socialism, Politics, and Citizenship : Reflections On a Czech Tho Ught-Experiment

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This article attempts to draw out some theoretical implications from the thought-experiment of Vladimir Klokocka, a Czech political jurist who was a leading member of a team of experts that was entrusted with the working out of electoral reform proposals during the late 1960s. The thought-experiment in question found articulation in chapter 9 of Klokocka's Volby v pluralitnich democraciích (Elections in Pluralist Democracies), which, published in Prague after the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, had an exceedingly brief exposure because it was withdrawn from circulation shortly after publication.1 Substantial excerpts of this chapter have recently appeared in translation elsewhere with a brief commentary.2 I should like to enlarge here on this commentary. The chapter in question apart from its historical interest, presents a penetrating analysis of democracy under socialism that-sheds light not merely on the arguable possibilities of reform of existing Communist régimes, but also on the broader question of pluralism within any political context.

Affiliations: 1: University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada


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