In 2008, the collapse of the US financial system plunged the economy into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In its aftermath, the financial crisis pushed to the forefront fundamental moral and institutional questions about how we govern the modern economy. What are thevalues that economic policy ought to prioritize? What institutions do we trust to govern complex economic dynamics? Much of popular and academic debate revolves around two competing approaches to these fundamental questions: laissez-faire defenses of self-correcting and welfare-enhancing markets onthe one hand, and managerialist turns to the role of insulated, expert regulation in mitigating risks and promoting growth on the other. In Democracy Against Domination, K. Sabeel Rahman offers an alternative vision for how we should govern the modern economy in a democratic society.Drawing on a rich tradition of economic reform rooted in the thought and reform politics of early twentieth century progressives like John Dewey and Louis Brandeis, Rahman argues that the fundamental moral challenge of economic governance today is two-fold: first, to counteract the threats ofeconomic domination whether in the form of corporate power or inequitable markets; and second, to do so by expanding the capacity of citizens themselves to exercise real political power in economic policymaking. This normative framework in turn suggests a very different way of understanding andaddressing major economic governance issues of the post-crisis era, from the challenge of too-big-to-fail financial firms, to the dangers of regulatory capture and regulatory reform.Synthesizing a range of insights from history to political theory to public policy, Democracy Against Domination offers an exciting reinterpretation of progressive economic thought; a fresh normative approach to democratic theory; and an urgent hope for realizing a more equitable and democraticallyaccountable economy through practical reforms in our policies and regulatory institutions.
Ian Shapiro makes a compelling case that the purpose of politics should be to combat domination, and he shows what this means in practice at home and abroad. This is a major work of applied political theory, a profound challenge to utopian visions, and a guide to fundamental problems of justice and distribution.
What will it take to restore American democracy and rescue it from this moment of crisis? Civic Power argues that the current threat to US. democracy is rooted not just in the outcome of the 2016 election, but in deeper, systemic forms of inequality that concentrate economic and political power in the hands of the few at the expense of the many. Drawing on historical and social science research and case studies of contemporary democratic innovations across the country, Civic Power calls for a broader approach to democracy reform focused on meaningfully redistributing power to citizens. It advocates for both reviving grassroots civil society and novel approaches to governance, policymaking, civic technology, and institutional design - aimed at dismantling structural disparities to build a more inclusive, empowered, bottom-up democracy where communities and people have greater voice, power, and agency.
Democracies derive their resilience and vitality from the fact that the rule of a particular majority is usually only of a temporary nature. By looking at four case-studies, The Awkward Embrace studies democracies of a different kind; rule by a dominant party which is virtually immune from defeat. Such systems have been called Regnant or or Uncommon Democracies. They are characterized by distinctive features: the staging of unfree or corrupt elections; the blurring of the lines between government, the ruling party and the state; the introduction of a national project which is seen to be above politics; and the erosion of civil society. This book addresses major issues such as why one such democracy, namely Taiwan, has been moving in the direction of a more competitive system; how economic crises such as the present one in Mexico can transform the system; how government-business relations in Malaysia are affecting the base of the dominant party; and whether South Africa will become a one-party dominant system.
Through a case study of community organizing in the global city of London and an examination of the legacy of Saul Alinsky around the world, this book develops a constructive account of the relationship between religious diversity, democratic citizenship, and economic and political accountability. Based on an in-depth, ethnographic study, Part I identifies and depicts a consociational, populist and post-secular vision of democratic citizenship by reflecting on the different strands of thought and practice that feed into and help constitute community organizing. Particular attention is given to how organizing mediates the relationship between Christianity, Islam and Judaism and those without a religious commitment in order to forge a common life. Part II then unpacks the implications of this vision for how we respond to the spheres in which citizenship is enacted, namely, civil society, the sovereign nation-state, and the globalized economy. Overall, the book outlines a way of re-imagining democracy, developing innovative public policy, and addressing poverty in the contemporary context.
This collection of essays brings together historians and political scientists from Britain, France and the United States, who, from widely differing perspectives and traditions, have been involved in the process of rethinking African politics. They present here the outline of a new approach, grounded in universal political theory rather than on theories of Third World political development. This seeks to integrate the history of Africa (from pre- to post-colonial) with concepts of political theory as they have been applied historically to the analysis of Europe and America. The book addresses a wide audience: students of African history and politics, of Third World development and of political theory.
In the "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,” the young Marx elliptically alludes to a "true democracy" whose advent would go hand in hand with the disappearance of the state. Miguel Abensour’s rigorous interpretation of this seminal text reveals an “unknown Marx” who undermines the identification of democracy with the state and defends a historically occluded form of politics. True democracy does not entail the political and economic power of the state, but it does not dream of a post-political society either. On the contrary, the battle of democracy is waged by a demos that invents a public sphere of permanent struggles, a politics that counters political bureaucracy and representation. Democracy is "won" by a people forewarned that any dissolution of the political realm in its independence, any subordination to the state, is tantamount to annihilating the site for gaining and regaining a genuinely human existence. In this explicitly heterodox reading of Marx, Miguel Abensour proposes a theory of "insurgent" democracy that makes political liberty synonymous with a living critique of domination.
In The Good Representative, Suzanne Dovi argues that democratic citizens should assess their representatives by their display of three virtues: they must be fair-minded, build critical trust, and be good gatekeepers. This important book provides standards for evaluating the democratic credentials of representatives. Identifies the problems with and obstacles to good democratic representation. Argues that democratic representation, even good democratic representation, is not always desirable. Timely and original, this book rejects the tendency to equate respect for the preferences of citizens with neutrality on the standards used in choosing their representatives.
This volume introduces a new conception of political education and new roles for headteachers and parents in the creation of a more democratic educational system. The book proposes curbing the power of teachers, including headteachers, stripping parents of their rights, and making political education the keystone of education. It considers what kind of educational strategies would be appropriate to help move a society like our own towards greater democracy, in the light of a co-ordinated set of proposals about the democratic organization of political decision-making, and the development of democratic attitudes, notably fraternity. All this is underpinned by a radical analysis of basic democratic principles and assumptions, and a fundamental critique of the power-sharing machinery of such contemporary democratic societies as the UK and USA.
Conference papers.Companion to: Democracy's value. Includes Bibliographical references and index.
In this short yet ambitious work, Philip Pettit offers a single, unified, and overarching theory of freedom. A puzzling topic, freedom extends from the individual and the metaphysical (i.e. free will) to the social and the political, yet a theory connecting these two realms has yet to be devised. In an elegant, accessible manner, Pettit presents a survey of available theories of freedom, then develops his own--one that manages to straddle the personal and political spheres. The view he develops--which includes the seemingly paradoxical notion that we are free to the extent that we are capable of being held responsible--will make this pioneering book highly important to a wide range of philosophers.
The Ancient Greek notion of agonism, meaning struggle, has been revived in radical legal and political theory to rethematize class conflict and to conceptualize the conditions of possibility of freedom and social transformation in contemporary society. Insisting that what is ultimately at stake in politics are the terms in which social conflict is represented, agonists highlight the importance of the strategic, affective and aesthetic aspects of politics for democratic praxis. This volume examines the implications of this critical perspective for understanding law and considers how law serves either to sustain or curtail the democratic agon. While sharing a critical perspective on the deliberative turn in legal and political theory and its tendency to depoliticize social conflict, the various contributors to this volume diverge in arguing variously for pragmatic, expressivist or strategic conceptions of agonism. In doing so they question the glib assumptions that often underlie a sometimes too easy celebration of conflict as an antidote to de-politicizing consensus. This thought provoking volume will be of interest to students and researchers working in legal and political theory and philosophy.
Fighting for Democracy shows how the experiences of African American soldiers during World War II and the Korean War influenced many of them to challenge white supremacy in the South when they returned home. Focusing on the motivations of individual black veterans, this groundbreaking book explores the relationship between military service and political activism. Christopher Parker draws on unique sources of evidence, including interviews and survey data, to illustrate how and why black servicemen who fought for their country in wartime returned to America prepared to fight for their own equality. Parker discusses the history of African American military service and how the wartime experiences of black veterans inspired them to contest Jim Crow. Black veterans gained courage and confidence by fighting their nation's enemies on the battlefield and racism in the ranks. Viewing their military service as patriotic sacrifice in the defense of democracy, these veterans returned home with the determination and commitment to pursue equality and social reform in the South. Just as they had risked their lives to protect democratic rights while abroad, they risked their lives to demand those same rights on the domestic front. Providing a sophisticated understanding of how war abroad impacts efforts for social change at home, Fighting for Democracy recovers a vital story about black veterans and demonstrates their distinct contributions to the American political landscape.
After thirty years of autocratic rule under "Life President" Kamuzu Banda, Malawians experienced a transition to multi-party democracy in 1994. A new constitution and several democratic institutions promised a new dawn in a country ravaged by poverty and injustice. This book presents original research on the economic, social, political and cultural consequences of the new era. A new generation of scholars, most of them from Malawi, cover virtually every issue causing debate in the New Malawi: poverty and hunger, the plight of civil servants, the role of the judiciary, political intolerance and hate speech, popular music as a form of protest, clergy activism, voluntary associations and ethnic revival, responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and controversies over women's rights. Both chameleon-like leaders and the donors of Malawi's foreign aid come under critical scrutiny for supporting superficial democratization. The book ends with a rare public statement on the New Malawi by Jack Mapanje, Malawi'sinternationally acclaimed writer.
An innovative conception of democracy for an era of globalization and delegation of authority beyond the nation-state: rule by peoples across borders rather than by "the people" within a fixed jurisdiction. Today democracy is both exalted as the "best means to realize human rights" and seen as weakened because of globalization and delegation of authority beyond the nation-state. In this provocative book, James Bohman argues that democracies face a period of renewal and transformation and that democracy itself needs redefinition according to a new transnational ideal. Democracy, he writes, should be rethought in the plural; it should no longer be understood as rule by the people (dêmos), singular, with a specific territorial identification and connotation, but as rule by peoples (dêmoi), across national boundaries. Bohman shows that this new conception of transnational democracy requires reexamination of such fundamental ideas as the people, the public, citizenship, human rights, and federalism, and he argues that it offers a feasible approach to realizing democracy in a globalized world. In his account, Bohman establishes the conceptual foundations of transnational democracy by examining in detail current theories of democracy beyond the nation-state (including those proposed by Rawls, Habermas, Held, and Dryzek) and offers a deliberative alternative. He considers the importance of communicative freedom in the transnational public sphere (including networked communication over the Internet), human rights as the normative basis of transnational democracy, and the European Union as a transnational polity. Finally, he examines the relationship between peace and democracy, concluding that peace requires democratization on interacting state and suprastate levels.
The contributors here discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the two dominant approaches to radical democracy: theories of abundance inspired by Gilles Deleuze and theories of lack inspired by Jacques Lacan. They examine the idea of radical democracy from a wide variety of perspectives: identity/difference, the public sphere, social movements, nature, popular culture, right wing populism, and political economy. In addition, the volume relates the work of contemporary thinkers such as Deleuze, Lacan, Derrida and Foucault to classical thinkers such as Spinoza, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche.
Max Weber is best known as one of the founders of modern sociology and the author of the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, but he also made important contributions to modern political and democratic theory. In Democracy and the Political in Max Weber's Thought, Terry Maley explores, through a detailed analysis of Weber's writings, the intersection of recent work on Weber and on democratic theory, bridging the gap between these two rapidly expanding areas of scholarship. Maley critically examines how Weber's realist 'model' of democracy defines and constrains the possibilities for democratic agency in modern liberal-democracies. Maley also looks at how ideas of historical time and memory are constructed in his writings on religion, bureaucracy, and the social sciences. Democracy and the Political in Max Weber's Thought is both an accessible introduction to Weber's political thought and a spirited defense of its continued relevance to debates on democracy.
What should we expect from democracy, and how likely is it that democracies will live up to those expectations? In The State of Democratic Theory, Ian Shapiro offers a critical assessment of contemporary answers to these questions, lays out his distinctive alternative, and explores its implications for policy and political action. Some accounts of democracy's purposes focus on aggregating preferences; others deal with collective deliberation in search of the common good. Shapiro reveals the shortcomings of both, arguing instead that democracy should be geared toward minimizing domination throughout society. He contends that Joseph Schumpeter's classic defense of competitive democracy is a useful starting point for achieving this purpose, but that it stands in need of radical supplementation--both with respect to its operation in national political institutions and in its extension to other forms of collective association. Shapiro's unusually wide-ranging discussion also deals with the conditions that make democracy's survival more and less likely, with the challenges presented by ethnic differences and claims for group rights, and with the relations between democracy and the distribution of income and wealth. Ranging over politics, philosophy, constitutional law, economics, sociology, and psychology, this book is written in Shapiro's characteristic lucid style--a style that engages practitioners within the field while also opening up the debate to newcomers.
New Perspectives in Philosophy of Education seeks to build a bridge between philosophical reflection and socio-political action by developing a range of critical discussions in the areas of ethics, politics and religion. This volume brings together established authorities and a new generation of scholars to ask whether philosophy of education can contribute to political and social discourse, or whether it is destined to remain the marginal gadfly of mainstream ideology. The philosophy of education stands in danger of becoming a neglected field at precisely the moment we need to be able to reflect upon the increasingly apparent costs of the technocratic attitude to education. While many of the educational policy discussions of recent years seem far-reaching and radical, critical debate surrounding these initiatives remain largely at a populist level. New Perspectives in Philosophy of Education provides contemporary responses to philosophical issues that bear upon educational studies, policies and practices, contributing to the debate on the role of philosophy of education in an increasingly fractured intellectual milieu.
Re-examines the long and complex history of democracy and broadens the traditional view of this history by complementing it with examples from unexplored or under-examined quarters.