Democratic Theory When Democracy Is Fugitive

in Democratic Theory
View More View Less
  • 1 Mount Holyoke College aaslam@mtholyoke.edu
  • | 2 Colorado State University david.mcivor@colostate.edu
  • | 3 Bryn Mawr College jschlosser@brynmawr.edu
Restricted access

Abstract

Urgent alarms now warn of the erosion of democratic norms and the decline of democratic institutions. These antidemocratic trends have prompted some democratic theorists to reject the seeming inevitability of democratic forms of government and instead to consider democracy as a fugitive phenomenon. Fugitive democracy, as we argue below, is a theory composed of two parts. First, it includes a robust, normative ideal of democracy and, second, a clear-eyed vision of the historical defeats and generic difficulties attendant to that ideal. This article considers how democratic theorists might respond to the challenges posed by fugitive democracy and the implications of such an understanding for future research in democratic theory.

Contributor Notes

Joel Schlosser is an associate professor of political science at Bryn Mawr College. E-mail: jschlosser@brynmawr.edu

Ali Aslam is an assistant professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College. E-mail: aaslam@mtholyoke.edu

David McIvor is an associate professor of political science at Colorado State University. E-mail: David.McIvor@colostate.edu

Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

  • Apostolidis, Paul. 2010. Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers Can Teach America about Democracy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arendt, Hannah. (1958) 1998. The Human Condition, 2nd Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Arendt, Hannah. (1961) 2006. “What Is Freedom?” In Between Past and Future, ed. J. Kohn, 142169. New York: Penguin.

  • Arendt, Hannah. (1963) 1990. On Revolution. New York: Penguin.

  • Aslam, Ali. 2017. Ordinary Democracy: Sovereignty and Citizenship beyond the Neoliberal Impasse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baehr, Peter, ed. 2000. The Portable Hannah Arendt. New York: Penguin.

  • Barber, Benjamin. 1984. Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Bartels, Larry. 2008. Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Bartels, Larry. 2015. “Facing Up to the Democratic Recession.” Journal of Democracy 26 (1): 141155.

  • Beltran, Cristina. 2010. The Problem with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Boyte, Harry. 2004. Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • Breaugh, Martin. 2013. The Plebeian Experience: A Discontinuous History of Political Freedom. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Bretherton, Luke. 2015. Resurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship, and the Politics of Common Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Brown, Wendy. 2015. Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution. New York: Zone Books.

  • Carruthers, Charlene. 2019. Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. Boston: Beacon Press.

  • Coles, Romand. 2004. “Moving Democracy: Industrial Areas Foundation Social Movements and the Political Arts of Listening, Traveling, and Tabling. Political Theory 32 (5): 678705.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coles, Romand. 2016. Visionary Pragmatism: Radical and Ecological Democracy in Neoliberal Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Constant, Benjamin. (1819) 1988. “On the Liberty of the Ancients Compared to the Moderns.” Political Writings, 309328. Translated and edited by B. Fontana. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Connolly, William E. 2008. Capitalism and Christianity, American Style. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Connolly, William E. 2018. Aspirational Fascism: The Struggle for Multifaceted Democracy under Trumpism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coulthard, Glen Sean. 2014. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crook, Stephen. 1991. Modernist Radicalism and Its Aftermath: Foundationalism and Anti-Foundationalism in Radical Social Theory. London: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dahl, Robert. 2000. On Democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Diamond, Larry. 2008. The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World. New York: Times Books.

  • Dyrness, Andrea. 2011. Mothers United: An Immigrant Struggle for Socially Just Education. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Euben, J. Peter. 2003. Platonic Noise. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Euben, Roxanne. 2008. “Traveling Theorists and Translating Practices.” In Journeys to the Other Shore, 2045. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Flyvbjerg, Bent. 1998. Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice. Trans. S. Sampson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Flyvbjerg, Bent. 2001. Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again. Trans. S. Sampson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gibson-Graham, J. K. 2006. A Postcapitalist Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Gilens, Martin, and Larry Page. 2014. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” Perspectives on Politics 12 (3): 564581.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grattan, Laura. 2016. Populism's Power: Radical Grassroots Democracy in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. 2017. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. Wivenhoe: Minor Compositions.

  • Haro, Lia, and Romand Coles. Forthcoming. “Reimagining Fugitive Democracy and Transformative Sanctuary with Black Frontline Communities in the Underground Railroad.” Political Theory.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hedges, Chris, and Sheldon Wolin. 2014. “Can Capitalism and Democracy Co-Exist?The Real News Network. October 23. https://therealnews.com/series/hedges-wolin-can-capitalism-and-democracy-coexist.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kelley, Robin. 2002. Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. Boston: Beacon Press.

  • Lebron, Christopher. 2017. The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Lee, Frances E., and Nolan McCarty, eds. 2019. Can America Govern Itself? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Levitsky, Steven, and Daniel Ziblatt. 2018. How Democracies Die. New York: Crown Publishing.

  • Malleson, Thomas. 2014. After Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Marchart, Oliver. 2007. Post-Foundational Political Thought: Political Difference in Nancy, Lefort, Badiou and Laclau. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martel, James. 2018. The Misinterpellated Subject. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • McIvor, David W. 2016a. Mourning in America: Race and the Politics of Loss. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

  • McIvor, David W. 2016b. “The Conscience of a Fugitive: Sheldon Wolin and the Prospects for Radical Democracy.” New Political Science 38 (3): 411427.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merton, Robert. 1968. “On Sociological Theories of the Middle Range.” In Social Theory and Social Structure, enlarged ed. New York: The Free Press: 3972.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moten, Fred. 2017. Black and Blur, vol. 1 of Consent Not to Be a Single Being. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Moten, Fred. 2018a. Stolen Life, vol. 2 of Consent Not to Be a Single Being. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Moten, Fred. 2018b. The Universal Machine, vol. 3 of Consent Not to Be a Single Being. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Mouffe, Chantal. 2000. The Democratic Paradox. London: Verso.

  • Mounk, Yascha. 2018. The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Ober, Josiah. 2017. Demopolis: Democracy Before Liberalism in Theory and Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Polletta, Francesca. 2004. Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Putnam, Robert. 2001. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.

  • Roberts, Neil. 2015. Freedom as Marronage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Runciman, David. 2018. How Democracy Ends. New York: Basic Books.

  • Schattschneider, E. P. 1975. The Semisovereign People. Boston: Wadsworth.

  • Snyder, Timothy. 2018. The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America. New York: Tim Duggan Books.

  • Stout, Jeffrey. 2010. Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. 2016. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

  • Tully, James. 1995. Strange Multiplicity: Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Vick, Jason. 2015. “Participatory versus Radical Democracy in the 21st Century: Carole Pateman, Jacques Rancière, and Sheldon Wolin.” New Political Science 37 (2): 204223.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Warren, Mark R. 2001. Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • White, Stephen K. 2009. “Violence, Weak Ontology, and Late-Modernity.” Political Theory 37 (6): 808816.

  • Wingenbach, Edward C. 2011. Institutionalizing Agonistic Democracy: Post-Foundationalism and Political Liberalism. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Group.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wolin, Sheldon S. 1989. The Presence of the Past. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Wolin, Sheldon S. 1993. “Democracy, Difference, and Re-Cognition.” Political Theory 21 (3): 464483.

  • Wolin, Sheldon S. 1994a. “Fugitive Democracy.” Constellations 1: 1125.

  • Wolin, Sheldon S. 1994b. “Norm and Form: The Constitutionalizing of Democracy.” In Athenian Political Thought and the Reconstruction of American Democracy, ed. J. Peter Euben, John R. Wallach, and Josiah Ober, 2958. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wolin, Sheldon S. 2008. Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wright, Erik Olin. 2010. Envisioning Real Utopias. New York: Verso.

  • Young, Iris Marion. 2002. Inclusion and Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Zakaria, Fareed. 2007. The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, rev. ed. New York: W. W. Norton.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 236 136 15
Full Text Views 50 21 1
PDF Downloads 84 40 4