By Slavoj Žižek, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Rancière, Wendy Brown, Kristin Ross, Daniel Bensaïd

"Is it significant to name oneself a democrat? And if this is the case, how do you interpret the word?"

In responding to this question, 8 iconoclastic thinkers turn out the wealthy power of democracy, besides its serious weaknesses, and reconceive the perform to house new political and cultural realities. Giorgio Agamben lines the demanding historical past of constitutions and their coexistence with quite a few governments. Alain Badiou contrasts present democratic perform with democratic communism. Daniel Bensaid ponders the institutionalization of democracy, whereas Wendy Brown discusses the democratization of society below neoliberalism. Jean-Luc Nancy measures the variation among democracy as a sort of rule and as a human finish, and Jacques Rancière highlights its egalitarian nature. Kristin Ross identifies hierarchical relationships inside of democratic perform, and Slavoj Zizek complicates the excellence among those that wish to personal the kingdom and people who desire to do with no it.

Concentrating at the classical roots of democracy and its altering which means over the years and inside of various contexts, those essays uniquely guard what's left of the left-wing culture after the autumn of Soviet communism. They confront disincentives to energetic democratic participation that experience prompted voter turnout to say no in western international locations, and so they tackle electoral indifference by way of invoking and reviving the culture of citizen involvement. Passionately written and theoretically wealthy, this assortment speaks to all points of contemporary political and democratic debate.

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Marshall (New York: Continuum, 1993). 46. Ibid. 290. 47. Ibid. 276. 40 unde r standi ng l i b e ral de moc rac y coerced action is undeniably attractive. Its attractiveness slips away, however, when we look close. It cannot be their actual views that are the determining factor; almost no governmental coercion would ever be justified. So it must be certain of the views they would have even if they never actually have them. The core idea of the liberal theorists we have been examining is that it is certain views citizens would have if they were fully rational.

28; see also p. 8. 29. Ibid. 226. 30. Ibid. 143. ”32 A political conception of justice yields principles for public reason only if everybody would agree, provided they reflected rationally on the matter, that it is a reasonable articulation of the liberal idea of society into a conception of justice. Given the tendency of theorists to disagree with each other on quasiphilosophical matters of any complexity or subtlety, we must expect that if a number of theorists engage in the project of articulating political conceptions of justice, public reason in a given society at a given time will contain contradictory principles.

With the exception of Robert Audi, none of them does so. Of course we have been wanting such an account for a long time now. ” Up to this point I have let this pass without comment. But liberal theory, as developed over the past quarter century or so, presupposes an epistemology theory. Seldom has that theory been forthcoming. Now it is imperative that we have the theory: anybody who claims that we all aspire to rationality cannot be excused from telling us what he means by rationality. This strikes me as paternalism of the most offensive sort.

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