The aim of my project is to improve current understanding of the goals, prospects and reach of argumentative debate in responding to religious disagreements. Whereas the question of how societies can be enabled to accommodate religious disagreement in ethically and politically legitimate ways has been the topic of extensive research, the question of how much room this kind of disagreement leaves for argumentative debate in its own right and terms has attracted less attention. Building on research in the fi elds of secularity, postsecularity, and argumentation theory, my project takes a step towards remedying this situation and building a bridge between diff erent traditions of thought.
My project focuses on contemporary developments (Islamic revival, economic globalization, populism) that are having a direct or indirect impact on the future of democracy. Many people are concerned about the way in which democracy seems to be declining today. There are, however, also opposite signals in various areas of the globe, where we are experiencing a sort of democratic awakening. These phenomena, though, are not easy to decipher and require a careful investigation of the extra-political sources of legitimacy and the enabling conditions of a viable democracy. The research starts from the Italian case and seeks to identify some common elements in today’s international scenario.