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  • Writer's pictureLPH

Friends or foes? Do capitalism and democracy go together?

By advocating for a constructive role of business in the public sphere, CPR touches on the broader question of how capitalism relates to democracy. If you’re interested, please find Max Krahé’s illuminating historical overview of their changing constellation.


The relationship between democracy and capitalism is one of the major questions of our time. This article gives context to contemporary debates that discuss and question their compatibility by tracing past accounts of their relationship. Despite shifting and contested conceptions of the two core terms, and despite significant changes in historical context, three families of accounts can be identified as central narratives over the course of the last two centuries: incompatibility accounts, partnership accounts and, most recently, accounts that foreground a gradually unfolding antagonism between the two.

Max Krahe_Changing acounts of the relationship between capitalism and democracy
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Source: HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT. Vol. XLIII. No. 1. Spring 2022

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