School of Politics and International Relations

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Epistemic Deficiencies of Democracy

Research students in the department

Paul Gunn

In my current research on Political Economy, I seek to bring together the different strands in my academic training and my BSc in Economics and Sociology and my MRes in Policy Research. 

My thesis is based upon an epistemic critique of contemporary democratic theory and, especially, deliberative democratic theory. These fields are largely concerned with the challenges provided by demographic change and the resulting cultural and ethnic diversity, and thus seek to show how democracy has the power to overcome these challenges and secure justice and co-operation for all.

Building upon the epistemological insights provided by the Austrian School of Economics, my thesis shows that the main obstacle presented by diversity is one of knowledge and understanding. The efficacy of democratic theory thus rests on its epistemic capabilities. I seek to examine and critique these capabilities showing, where applicable, how the solutions to the prevailing political issues lie within classical liberalism rather than modern democratism.

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