Public ambivalence towards democracy has come under increasing scrutiny. It is a mood registered perhaps most clearly in the fact populist figures, from Trump to Orbàn to Duterte, appear to carry strong appeal despite the fact, or perhaps because of the fact, they pose a threat to democratic institutions and processes of governance. Are ambivalent citizens the grave threat to democracy they are often portrayed to be in media and academic discourse on populism? In this article, I contend that citizens’ ambivalence about democracy is a more complex, spirited and volitional idea than is acknowledged in the current discussion of populism. Drawing on psychoanalysis and critical social thought, I embrace a conception of citizens’ ambivalence in a democracy as both immanent and desirable. I argue ambivalence can be a form of participation in democracy that is crucial to safeguarding its future.
Memorialization, War, and Democracy in the United States
Stephen J. Rosow
Contestation over war memorialization can help democratic theory respond to the current attenuation of citizenship in war in liberal democratic states, especially the United States. As war involves more advanced technologies and fewer soldiers, the relation of citizenship to war changes. In this context war memorialization plays a particular role in refiguring the relation. Current practices of remembering and memorializing war in contemporary neoliberal states respond to a dilemma: the state needs to justify and garner support for continual wars while distancing citizenship from participation. The result is a consumer culture of memorialization that seeks to effect a unity of the political community while it fights wars with few citizens and devalues the public. Neoliberal wars fought with few soldiers and an economic logic reveals the vulnerability to otherness that leads to more active and critical democratic citizenship.
Amidst a global turn towards authoritarianism and populism, there are few contemporary examples of state-led democratization. This article discusses how Uruguay’s Frente Amplio (FA) party has drawn on a unique national democratic cultural heritage to encourage a coupling of participatory and representative institutions in “a politics of closeness.” The FA has reinvigorated Batllismo, a discourse associated with social justice, civic republicanism, and the rise of Uruguayan social democracy in the early twentieth century. At the same time, the FA’s emphasis on egalitarian participation is inspired by the thought of Uruguay’s independence hero José Artigas. I argue that the cross-weave of party and movement, and of democratic citizenship and national heritage, encourages the emergence of new figures of the citizen and new permutations for connecting citizens with representative institutions. The FA’s “politics of closeness” is an example of how state-driven democratization remains possible in an age described by some as “post-democratic.”
This article analyzes contemporary democracies from a deliberative democratic standpoint and focuses on the connection between public and empowered spaces. The idea of deliberative systems and the concept of “transmission” are introduced to discuss the ways in which the public is able to affect the empowered spaces. While elections perform important democratic functions, alone they cannot provide a good quality means for connecting deliberation in the public to that of actors in the empowered space. The problem with transmission is exacerbated to the extent that alternative forms of participation are neglected. The limited ability of the public to affect the empowered space in deliberative and democratic ways contributes to the crisis of democratic systems. One solution to this problem is to acknowledge the role of citizens' deliberation. The article argues for the systematic introduction of spaces for citizens' deliberation that would parallel existing decision-making.
Jeffrey D. Hilmer and Max Halupka
(fugitive democracy), and Chantal Mouffe (agonistic democracy) (131ff.). But they are not without their shortcomings. Participatory theory is increasingly conflated with deliberative theory, thus too narrowly defining political participation (158). It is
Nancy S. Love, Sanford F. Schram, Anthony J. Langlois, Luis Cabrera, and Carol C. Gould
—Transnational, Regional, and Global,” Gould explores possible sites for the creation of global publics. These include a fascinating discussion of “online networking” that considers proposals for e-voting, online deliberations, and other web-based participation. She also
Prospects for Democratizing Democracy
overcome by looking at the dialectics of democracy. For him democracy refers to a principle of societal self-regulation that has at its core the idea of reciprocal recognition of equality and equal rights to societal participation. During Western post
as a supranational polity, the EU encompasses a multitude of different nationalities, languages, religions, and traditions. On the one hand, the EU has created opportunities for political participation, with the election of the members of the European
On the Political and Ideological Implications of Capitalism's Subordination of Democracy
-3 ; Markoff 2014: 168 ). This situation understandably leads to a popular disenchantment with politics, which becomes manifest in low participation rates, especially among the poorest, least privileged segments of the population ( Markoff 2014: 119
What Democratic Theorists Can Learn from Democratic Professionals
Selen A. Ercan’s and Albert W. Dzur
say, “From this point onward, people seem to lose their trust in politicians and they seem to lose their trust to each other?” Dzur: That is a good question. I do not think that there is a golden age of participation. However, survey research on trust