Democracy is in shambles economically and politically. The recent economic meltdown in Europe and the U.S. has substituted democratic deliberation with technocratic decisions. In Athens, Madrid, Lisbon, New York, Pittsburgh or Istanbul, protesters have denounced the incapacity and unwillingness of elected officials to heed to their voices.
While the diagnosis of our political-economic illness has been established, remedies are hard to come. What can we do to restore our broken democracy? Which modes of political participation are likely to have an impact? And what are the loci of political innovation in the wake of the crisis? It is with these questions that Reclaiming Democracy engages. We argue that the managerial approach to solving the crisis violates ‘a right to politics’, that is, a right that our collective life be guided by meaningful politics: by discussion of and decision among genuinely alternative principles and policies. The contributors to this volume are united in their commitment to explore how and where this right can be affirmed in a way that resuscitates democracy in the wake of the crisis. Mixing theoretical reflection and empirical analysis the book offers fresh insights into democracy’s current conundrum and makes concrete proposals about how ‘the right to politics’ can be protected.
Table of Contents
Selected Contents: Introduction Albena Azmanova and Mihaela Mihai Part 1: Loci of Democracy 1. Agonism and the Crisis of Representative Democracy Paulina Tambakaki 2. Freedom, Democracy, and Working Life Keith Breen 3. Technology: The Promises of Communicative Capitalism Jodi Dean 4. Ungovernability Claus Offe Part 2: Modes of Democratic Politics 5. Democracy, Law and Global Finance: A Legal and Institutional Perspective Tamara Lothian 6. Democracy and the Absolute Power of Disembedded Financial Markets Alessandro Ferrara 7. Success and Failure in the Deliberative EconomyArjun Appadurai 8. The Promise of Global Transparency: Between Information and Emancipation Matthew Fluck Part 3: Democratic Critique 9. Neoliberalism, the Street, and the Forum Noëlle McAfee 10. Founding Political Critique in a Post-Political World: Towards a Renewal of Utopian Energies Nikolas Kompridis 11. From the Assembly to the Agora: Non-Linear Politics and the Politicisation of Everyday Life David Chandler
Albena Azmanova teaches political theory at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies where she heads the postgraduate program in international political economy.
Mihaela Mihai is the 50th Anniversary Lecturer at the University of York, UK. Her research interests cut across political theory, political science and law.
"The multifaceted dimensions of the contemporary crisis of democracy emerge powerfully in this excellent collection of thoughtful contributions from leading scholars in contemporary political theory. Contributors seem to be engaging in an extended dialogue that reaches across the full range of theoretical, historical, social, and political challenges that neoliberalism, managerialism, and global financial upheavals pose to democratic life, while at the same time offering possibilities for renewal by claiming a "right to politics." A timely and important book."—Mary G Dietz, Northwestern University