Christoph Heuermann is currently studying Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz. Over the past years he also studied and interned in New Zealand, Vienna, Berlin and Madrid. He is amongst others founder of the Hayek Club Konstanz, Local Coordinator of Students for Liberty and Fellow of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. He is a regular blogger whose articles appeared in numerous outlets all over the world.
This paper intends to harmonize both concepts of Democracy and Liberalism from a theoretical perspective, discussing their origin at first. It argues that both concepts have advantages which can be synthesized in political units of small communities. It discusses the implications of littleness, which make a both democratic and liberal society possible. Advantages of small communities include better grasping of social processes, personal responsibility and solidarity, the protection of individual rights and a higher dynamic concerning economic, political, psychological and moral aspects. The paper credits and further develops in this way important thoughts of scholars like Wilhelm Röpke, José Ortega y Gassets, F.A. Hayek, Leopold Kohr or G.K. Chesterton among others.
Keywords: Liberalism, Democracy, Human Measure, Decentralization, Littleness, Small communities
The entry selected and published for the June issue addresses the tensions between democracy and liberalism as discussed by Röpke, Ortega y Gasset, Tocqueville and Hayek. Heurmann pleas for small communities. Unlike huge societies, small communities are less complex and easier to overview, allow for responsibility and voluntary solidarity, provide effective protection of individuals against authorities, and give rise to more trust and less opportunism, resumes the author.
In his essay, Christoph Heuermann, student at the University of Konstanz, Germany, recommends not to condemn democracy per se, but to look after it being properly applied in order to harmonise with liberalism.
On behalf of the Jury,
Prof. Dr. Hardy Bouillon
Academic Advisory Board of the Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institut