Today, we know very well that the free choice of rulers is undoubtedly always necessary, but it is not sufficient to establish democracy. Because democracy is not just a state of political order, but rather a state of constant struggle to rationalize the social and make it dependent on freedom. It is the endless dialogue of the mind and the subject that keeps the path to freedom open. Therefore, democracy cannot be the victory of the One or the transformation of the people into rulers. On the contrary, it should be accepted as making institutions dependent on individual and social freedom. It will protect this freedom against the economic-political power on the one hand and the pressure of tradition on the other. However, the spirit of freedom must also carry respect of the law in which it takes place. Therefore, it is clear that democracy is possible with civil peace.

As Jean-Jacques Rousseau stated in his Social Contract (1965), the necessity of a certain equality in conditions for democracy to be strong is indisputable. Today, the whole world sees democracy as a way of life. But now is the time to show that it is also a personal way of life, a procedure for establishing ethical standards for personal conduct.

As it is known, community both arises from participation and makes participation possible. Participation in the community is civic. Community and participation are thus aspects of a single social existence, in a word, citizenship.

In theory, democracy presupposes free, equal, and responsible citizens. Freedom and equality depend on both democracy and citizenship. Therefore, it is clear that democracy can only be sustained by competent and responsible citizens. However, the processes in various areas of their life often force their possibilities and power to be a responsible citizen, beyond their membership. It should be underlined as an important point that one of the conditions for being a responsible citizen is that the functioning of institutions and organizations is democratic.

It is argued that the modern situation is characterized by freedom and democracy, and this quality is preserved by institutions based on the same principle of free association. Therefore, it is important to understand democracy as an open-ended and constantly evolving process. And now, for modern democracy to function par excellence, it is necessary to consider the coexistence of socio-political values and moral values. It seems possible to develop this culture by emphasizing values such as mutual relations based on habits, moral obligations, and duties towards society rather than economic implications.

The problems experienced in the culture of democracy today are largely based on the lack of social capital. Distortion of communication for private interests through power is the main democratization problem of modern society. However, communication in the form of dialogue provides an environment for rational discussion between individuals in free and equal positions. And, from a Habermasian point of view, the precondition of dialogue, communicative rationality, also excludes the possibility that other forces will influence the outcome of the discussion, simply because it allows for the necessary acceptance of the validity of better evidence. Therefore, this discussion is a debate that should be held especially between individuals who have an equal voice and who are not under pressure.

In these approaches, democracy, beyond being a method of forming a government, includes measures that make it possible to critically evaluate the processes of taking and implementing socially binding decisions in terms of the concept of legitimacy. These criteria directly accept that political decisions will gain legitimacy based on the consensus that will be formed as a result of a public dialogue process and express the basic principles that are necessary for such a dialogue to take place under appropriate conditions.

For this reason, we have determined the theme of this issue as "Culture of Democracy" to contribute to the effort of proving the superiority of civil society-based participatory democracy over pluralist democracy consisting of pressure groups with justified reasons. In this context, we look forward to your studies, which we think will contribute to the development of democracy at the national/international level, with discussions on the following sub-themes.

  • Modernity/Tradition and democracy
  • Democratic requirements
  • Media and democracy culture
  • Political culture and democracy
  • Human rights and democracy
  • Social values and democracy
  • Elitism
  • Equity
  • Civil society and democracy
  • Civic culture
  • Democratic freedom
  • Gender discrimination
  • Communication Ethics
  • Discourse of the other
  • Dialogic communication
  • Communicative rationality
  • Art and democracy
  • City and democrac
  • Peace-discourse

4. BOYUT Journal of Media and Cultural Studies

Editorial Board


Istanbul University Press aims to contribute to the dissemination of ever growing scientific knowledge through publication of high quality scientific journals and books in accordance with the international publishing standards and ethics. Istanbul University Press follows an open access, non-commercial, scholarly publishing.