Liberal Democracy and the Empire of Speed
The concept of "time and space compression," as formulated by a number of prominent social theorists, has far-reaching consequences for democratic theory. The time and space horizons of human activity are undergoing dramatic changes, chiefly because the high-speed character of crucial forms of social and economic activity tends to "annihilate" distance. Simultaneity and instantaneousness increasingly become constitutive features of the human condition. By examining traditional assumptions about time and space within liberal democratic political theory, we can begin to see how time and space compression undermines conventional ideas about legislative-executive relations, majority rule, constitutionalism, and the rule of law. However, there may be ways by which defenders of liberal democracy can overcome the dilemmas generated by time and space compression.