, and indeed has been, partially corrected. Others claim that nations rest upon a “demos,” a “people-hood” that Europe as a union cannot possess. My small intervention first scrutinizes their pessimistic analysis of EU federalist potential, and then
Misplacing the Dilemmas of the European Union--In Memory of Stanley Hoffmann
Charles S. Maier
That the present moment ties multiple crises together—not least because each is a future of pasts that wound(ed) through each other—must be factored into our intercessions and visions. If every crisis is also a call to order, then what order, old or new, does the pandemic call us to? Its literality provokes us to keep both the pan and the demos in sight, just as they are being extinguished through borders, disease, poverty, insecurity, hatred, and disposability in the global postcolony. We are asked to remember that capital and colony are inseparable, that the nation-state is too suspicious a source of comfort, that the eroding claims of citizenship across the postcolonial and post-democratic fascist failed states are instructive and prophetic, and that the assumptions of place and movement in our frames of the democratic political need revisiting.
Democracy and Boundaries in the Anthropocene
The Anthropocene diagnosis, in which humanity has become a disruptive geological force, indicates an irresolvable political paradox. The political demos is inevitably and necessarily bounded. The Anthropocene, however, heralds the anthropos—the globalized more-than-human identity. The anthropos challenges the maintenance of political boundaries, yet any robust response to ecological predicament must be underpinned by a decisive demos. This article, informed by theories of political agonism, suggests that this paradox importantly provokes ongoing political contestation of the inevitable yet contingent exclusions from politics and the proper place of political boundaries in the Anthropocene. The article concludes that the Anthropocene diagnosis provides an opportunity for a lively democratic politics in which the demos is always prompted to reimagine itself and asks, who are “we” in the Anthropocene?
Michael D Royster and Jeffrey D. Hilmer
Goran Therborn. The Killing Fields of Inequality Reviewed by Michael D. Royster
Wendy Brown. Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution Reviewed by Jeffrey D. Hilmer
Political Representation beyond Representative Democracy
, where the assembled demos is excluded from any effective participation in the everyday exercise of major political power, which is entrusted to experts, bureaucracies, and elected (or not) elites. But it also contrasts with direct democracy in a wholly
Carl Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a Key Question in Democratic Theory
retrospect, namely, after a concrete critical situation has demonstrated that there really were too many or too few of them. Therefore, preference inconsistency serves as a constant reminder of democracy’s very foundation: the people, the demos, which is so
Democracy seems to be inextricably linked to crisis. This is true since the ancient writings of Plato and Aristotle. More recently, the debate over the crisis of democracy goes on under the heading of “postdemocracy.” This article addresses the question of whether the crisis of democracy is an invention of theoretically complex but empirically ignorant theorists who adhere to an excessively normative ideal of democracy, on three levels: first, on the level of quality of democracy indices developed by experts; second, on the basis of the survey reports on the opinion of the demos; third, on a deeper analyses of crucial spheres of democracy. The results hint in different directions. According to expert indices and polls, the message is: there is no crisis of democracy. However, the partial analyses on participation, representation, and effective power to govern reveal unresolved democratic challenges, such as an increasing level of exclusion of the lower third of the demos from participation, an inferior representation of their interests, and a loss of democratic sovereignty in policy making.
Jonas Hultin Rosenberg
The question of who ought to be included in the demos is distinct from, and yet related to, the question of how to distribute decisionmaking power among those who are included. Political equality is the most common answer to the former question within democratic theory. In democratic practice, it is usually realized through one person one vote. Within democratic theory, there is not as much agreement as to what the answer to the latter question should be. The answer that has attracted most attention within the scholarly literature is that all those who are affected should be included. However, prominent scholars have argued that this all-affected principle is incompatible with political equality and therefore an unattractive answer to the question of inclusion. This article challenges this critique and argues that it is based on a misconception of political equality and a narrow reading of the all-affected principle.
James Cronin, George Ross, and James Shock, eds. What's Left of the Left: Democrats and Social Democrats in Challenging Times (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011)
Reviewed by Willy Jou
James Bohman, Democracy across Borders: From Dêmos to Dêmoi (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2007)
Reviewed by by Conrad King
Ritter, Gerhard, The Price of German Unity. Reunification and the Crisis of the Welfare State, translated by Richard Deveson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
Reviewed by Joyce M. Mushaben
Michaela Hoenicke Moore, Know Your Enemy. The American Debate on Nazism, 1933-1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Reviewed by John Bendix
Elena Mancini, Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
Reviewed by Leila J. Rupp
Paul Betts, Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
Reviewed by Charles S. Maier
(as the Dominant Form of Rule in the United States)
Donald M. Nonini
Mainstream pundits, the media, and many academics represent the United States of America’s political system as a democracy, and the vast majority of its middle- and upper-middle-class citizens certainly think it is. I would like to argue against this idea, to propose instead that the US form of rule at present is not a democracy but instead an emergent kleptocratic oligarchy. According to the Webster’s Third International Dictionary (1976), this is “despotic power exercised by a privileged clique,” one moreover devoted at the most mundane level to kleptocracy, or rule while engaged in plunder of the public treasury. This emergent oligarchy is the undeclared alternative base of rule to the demos or ‘people’, whose organized governance constitutes a democracy. Although kleptocratic oligarchical rule is not entirely new to the US—the ‘Gilded Age’ from the 1880s to 1910, marked by corporate ascendancy and control of the US Senate, was very similar in many respects (Phillips 2004: 236–242)—I would argue that the contemporary American oligarchy has new strategies, organization, and objectives.