Living under Post-Democracy: Citizenship in Fleetingly Democratic Times, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Living under Post-Democracy

Citizenship in Fleetingly Democratic Times, 1st Edition

By Caleb R. Miller


144 pages

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Paperback: 9780367322342
pub: 2020-03-18
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 18th March 2020
Hardback: 9780367322335
pub: 2020-03-18
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 18th March 2020

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When money equates to power and the system is rigged in favor of wealthy elites, why do we still pretend we are living in a democracy? In Living under Post-Democracy, Caleb R. Miller challenges us to admit what we already know: that most of us are effectively powerless over the political decisions that govern our lives. Instead, we should embrace a "post-democratic" view of politics, one which recognizes the way in which our political institutions fail—both systematically and historically—to live up to our democratic ideals, while also acknowledging our tragic, yet enduring attachment to them both.

Offering a new framework for conceptualizing contemporary citizenship, Miller explores how a post-democratic perspective can help us begin to reorient ourselves in our paradoxical, fractured political landscape. This model of citizenship opens the possibility for a distinctly post-democratic approach to both political participation and political philosophy, treating them not as ways of affecting politics, but as opportunities for therapeutically engaging with the ongoing challenges and inevitable frustrations of post-democratic life.

This book is an excellent addition to courses on democratic theory, as well as introductory courses to political theory.


"Miller is laser focused on confronting the problem that democratic societies fall well short of the longstanding ideals that have informed them. In developing the provocative idea of ‘Post-Democracy to orient us within this situation, Miller advances the study of democracy." Jeffrey E. Green, University of Pennsylvania

"Unlike those who say ‘Don’t vote! It only encourages them,’ Caleb Miller does not want us to abandon taking part in political activity, even though he believes it is largely illusory. Should we do this only to continue mourning the absence of effective democracy? Or will our actions from time to time ignite a spark of real possibilities? Miller’s rich ambiguity makes us think for ourselves—the best success an author can have."Colin Crouch, author of Post-Democracy and Post-Democracy after the Crises

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. What is Post-Democracy?

3. Thinking Post-Democratically

4. Post-Democratic Citizenship

5. Acting Post-Democratically

6. Post-Democratic Elites

7. Conclusion

About the Author

Caleb R. Miller is a Visiting Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Goverance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has published in Constellations, Hobbes Studies, and the Journal of Political Science Education. In addition to his work on post-democracy, his research interests include democratic realism, political realism, and the work of Thomas Hobbes. Miller recieved his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara; he currently resides in Somerville, MA with his wife and son.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Democratic Theory

Advisory Board: Amy Allen (Penn State University), Benjamin Barber (City University of New York), Rajeev Bhargava (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies), David Chandler (University of Westminster), Fred Dallmayr (University of Notre Dame), John Keane (University of Sydney), James R. Martel (San Francisco State University), Chantal Mouffe (University of Westminster), Davide Panagia (UCLA), Bhikhu Parekh (House of Lords), and Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University)

Democracy is being re-thought almost everywhere today: with the widespread questioning of the rationalist assumptions of classical liberalism, and the implications this has for representational competition; with the Arab Spring, destabilizing many assumptions about the geographic spread of democracy; with the deficits of democracy apparent in the Euro-zone crisis, especially as it affects the management of budget deficits; with democracy increasingly understand as a process of social empowerment and equalization, blurring the lines of division between formal and informal spheres; and with growing demands for democracy to be reformulated to include the needs of those currently marginalized or even to include the representation of non-human forms of life with whom we share our planet.

Routledge Advances in Democratic Theory publishes state of the art theoretical reflection on the problems and prospects of democratic theory when many of the traditional categories and concepts are being reworked and rethought in our globalized and complex times.

The series is published in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London, UK.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory