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.
Table of Contents
2. What is Post-Democracy?
3. Thinking Post-Democratically
4. Post-Democratic Citizenship
5. Acting Post-Democratically
6. Post-Democratic Elites
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 received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara; he currently resides in Somerville, MA with his wife and son.
"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