1st Edition

Liberal Disorder, States of Exception, and Populist Politics

Edited By Valur Ingimundarson, Sveinn Jóhannesson Copyright 2021
    242 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Liberal democracy is in trouble. This volume considers the crosscutting causes and manifestations of the current crisis facing the liberal order.

    Over the last decade, liberal democracy has come under mounting pressure in many unanticipated ways. In response to seemingly endless crisis conditions, governments have turned with alarming frequency to extraordinary emergency powers derogating the rule of law and democratic processes. The shifting interconnections between new technologies and public power have raised questions about threats posed to democratic values and norms. Finally, the liberal order has been challenged by authoritarian and populist forces promoting anti- pluralist agendas. Adopting a synoptic perspective that puts liberal disorder at the center of its investigation, this book uses multiple sources to build a common historical and conceptual framework for understanding major contemporary political currents. The contributions weave together historical studies and conceptual analyses of states of exception, emergency powers, and their links with technological innovations, as well as the tension-ridden relationship between populism and democracy and its theoretical, ideological, and practical implications.

    The book will be of interest to scholars and students of a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences: history, political science, philosophy, constitutional and international law, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, and economics.


    Valur Ingimundarson and Sveinn M. Jóhannesson

    Part I Liberal Democracy and the Use of Exceptional Powers

    1. Carl Schmitt’s Conception of Sovereignty, the UN Security Council, and the Instrumentalization of the "State of Exception"

    Hans Köchler

    2. Right, Might and Technopolitics: The Problem of Republican Dictatorship from James Harrington to James Madison

    Sveinn M. Jóhannesson

    3. Exception as Alibi: Rhetorics of Emergency and Bare Life in the War on Terror

    Alexandra S. Moore

    4. Tactics of Battle, Strategies of State: Hurricane Katrina and the Counterterror Exception

    Jennifer N. Ross

    5. Exceptional Biometrics

    Peter Hitchcock

    Part II The Liberal State: Populist, Authoritarian, and Corporate Challenges

    6. A Theory of Populist Democracy

    Nadia Urbinati

    7. The Populist Right: Anti-Liberal Politics and Conservative Temptations

    Valur Ingimundarson

    8. Public Engagement: An Outline of a Critical Conception

    Jón Ólafsson

    9. Corporatism and Economic Performance

    Juan Vicente Sola and Gylfi Zoega


    Valur Ingimundarson is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Iceland and Chair of the Board of the EDDA Research Center.

    Sveinn M. Jóhannesson is Fennell Early Career Research Fellow in American History at the University of Edinburgh and teaches at the University of Iceland.