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International Political Science Association (IPSA)1 held its 22nd World Congress of Political Science in Madrid, Spain, on July 8-12, 2012. The guiding idea of the Congress was to analyse and evaluate the impact of globalization and economic crisis to a variety of democracies and societies worldwide and to find an affordable or a compatible model of democracy in the times of crisis. The title of the Congress made it possible to raise specific questions, answers to which are nowadays relevant not only to political scientists but also to citizens. In finding answers to these questions, democratic political elites should be giving their best to determine an appropriate model of democracy, be it subnational, national or transnational, and improve their political integrity by providing maximum responsiveness to new players on the political scene: citizens, businesses and civil organizations. Furthermore, in finding the appropriate model of democracy, some answers to questions such as the extent of changes in constitutional settings, basic democratic principles (freedom, equality and the rule of law), challenges to nation-state, key mechanisms of political accountability, role of democratic institutions and welfare state, are all to be sought.
The importance of popular culture in the study of politics–especially in the creation, development and propagation of political ideas–has scarcely been examined in any depth by students of politics. The cultural representations of political institutions and processes apparently escape the defined fields of the theoretical disciplines concerned with political phenomena. Political philosophy, particularly in the Englishspeaking world, has been largely committed in the last four decades to provide rationally compelling arguments aimed to justify the principles of political morality, detaching itself from concrete political experience and privileging instead an abstract, universal and ahistorical normative account of the ideal polity. Political theory has done no better is it tends to disintegrate itself in political science, becoming increasingly subservient of sociology and quantitative empirical explanations of political events and processes (Horton and Baumeister, 1996: 3-5).