Some 200 years have passed since the publication of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations launched the modern discipline of economics. Economics has travelled a long path since then, but a number of the questions with which Smith was concerned at the outset have remained with us and perhaps have gained increased urgency over time. It is thus not surprising that the latter half of the twentieth century has seen a renewed focus on the question that informs Smith’s original title: the determinants of the performance of economies (or nations) in the very long run.
A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Radical Machiavelli
Andrés Fabián Henao Castro
This article argues for a feminist reinterpretation of the ‘radical Machiavelli’ tradition which pushes Machiavelli’s performative theory of power towards emancipation. I base my argument on a rereading of Niccolò Machiavelli’s Mandragola, whose historical use of the mandrake legend, I claim, symptomatizes historically gendered forms of labour expropriation characteristic of early modern capitalism. Against the background of that historical contextualisation, I then argue against James Martel’s interpretation of Machiavelli’s theory of open secrets, as one that remains unable to extend to Lucrezia the democratic insights that he identifies in Callimaco and Ligurio’s textual conspiracies. Dialectically relocating the political heroism of this play in Lucrezia’s performance, I conclude, Machiavelli’s comedy becomes nevertheless useful for a subaltern theory of democratic action.
Political Rights and Presidential Leadership to the Test
Latin America was hit by COVID-19 in a moment of (socio-)economic distress and political unrest. This essay reflects on the immediate repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis for democracy in the region. It expounds how responding to the pandemic put to the test the still consolidating democracies with their long-standing defects in the areas of political and civil rights and horizontal accountability. In the course of coping with the crisis, it is precisely in these problem areas that additional risks for democracy have arisen due to infringements of political rights and the performance of presidents. Regarding the latter, the ambiguities of presidential leadership become particularly evident when comparing pragmatic and populist responses to the crisis.
Kwame Gyekye seeks to address the complex question of political legitimacy particularly on the African continent. He argues that the justification for political legitimacy need not necessarily depend on the economic performance of any given regime. For him, justification for legitimacy merely lies in whether all correct processes and procedures were properly followed in the assumption of power. He is of the view that military coups should not be tolerated as they lack legitimacy although they might have justification usurping power. He also argues that popular uprisings may have the justification to assume power but should subject themselves to a plebiscite to have legitimacy. In this paper I seek to argue that Gyekye's distinction between legitimacy and justification of exercise of political power is unsustainable. In contrast to Gyekye I seek to argue for a more plausible account of legitimacy that takes the substantive requirement much more seriously. I do this by showing the importance of the function of institutional checks on power in traditional African societies and seek to argue for the urgent need of such institutionalised checks on power in post-colonial Africa.
Bridging the Artist-Scholar Divide
Ibanga B. Ikpe
arts professors have not and self-taught musicians have been hailed as maestros while music academics remain unsung. The physicist can take up music as a hobby and the chemist could critique a stage performance whereas a poet dares not comment on
Towards a Critical Theory of Power Relations
starting from the practical contradictions between their institutionalised justifications and the concrete performances of their actors or their material conditions of feasibility. Furthermore, I will argue that domination does not only involve situations
Gustavo H. Dalaqua
: Using Performance to Make Politics, not for the sake of simply rescuing it from oblivion, but in order to show how it can contribute to the contemporary debate on the relationship between democracy and representation. To illustrate the debate about
Lauri Rapeli and Inga Saikkonen
the electorate (on this, see, for example, Markowski and Tworzecki 2020 ; Svolik 2019 ). The grave public health and economic consequences of the pandemic may seriously dent the “performance legitimacy” of these regimes, and can undermine the regimes
Habitual Voting, Political Alienation and Spectatorship
Anthony Lawrence A. Borja
turnout and four sets of variables (demographic, political, institutional and economic), they were only able to cite a strong relationship between voter turnout and the interaction between economic performance and the quality of formal democracy or
The Power Dynamics of Knowledge Production in Political Thought
Camilla Boisen and Matthew C. Murray
, moral, ethical and all points in between, was undertaken in many written forms and often disseminated in some manner of performance or public exposition. Aristotle, in the Poetics (1902), discusses what merits legitimate forms of display had to have by