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.
"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
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
Advisory Board: Amy Allen (Penn State University), Benjamin Barber (City University of New York), Rajeev Bhargava (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies), 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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