This paper offers an account of the social foundations of a theory of democracy. It purports to show that a social ontology of democracy is the necessary counterpart of a political theory of democracy. It notably contends that decisions concerning basic social ontological assumptions are relevant not only for empirical research but bear a significant impact also on normative theorizing. The paper then explains why interactionist rather than substantial social ontologies provide the most promising starting point for building a social ontology of democracy. It then introduces and examines the three notions of habits, patterns of interaction, and forms of social organization, conceived as the main pillars of an interactionist social ontology of democracy and briefly discusses some major implications of this approach for democratic theory.
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