Democracy in Crisis: Violence, Alterity, Community (Perspectives on Democratic Practice)

Democracy in Crisis: Violence, Alterity, Community (Perspectives on Democratic Practice) by Stella Gaon

Title: Democracy in Crisis: Violence, Alterity, Community (Perspectives on Democratic Practice)
Author: Stella Gaon
ISBN10: 0719079233
ISBN13: 978-0719079238
Publisher: Manchester University Press (March 15, 2010)
Language: English
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Size PDF: 1626 kb
Size Fb2: 1721 kb
Rating: 3.8/5
Votes: 438
Pages: 256 pages
Other Format: lrf lit mobi mbr

Democracy in Crisis: Violence, Alterity, Community (Perspectives on Democratic Practice) by Stella Gaon


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This volume explores the political implications of violence and alterity (radical difference) for the very practice of democracy, and reformulates the possibility of community that democracy is said to imply. Most significantly, contributors intervene in traditional democratic theory by boldly contesting the widely-held assumption that increased inclusion, tolerance, and cultural recognition are democracy’s sufficient conditions. Rather than simply inquiring how best to expand the "demos," they investigate how claims to self-determination, identity and sovereignty are a problem for democracy and how, paradoxically, alterity may be its greatest strength. Drawing largely on the Left, continental tradition, contributions include an appeal to the tension between fear and love in the face of anti-Semitism in Poland, an injunction to rethink the identity-difference binary that dominates liberal-democratic thought, a critique of the canonical, democratic "we," and a call for an ethics and a politics of "dissensus" in democratic struggles against racist and sexist oppression. The authors thus mobilize some of the most powerful critical insights emerging across the social sciences and humanities -- from anthropology, critical legal studies, critical race theory and post-colonial studies, Marxism, psychoanalysis, social and political thought, philosophy and sociology -- to reconsider the meaning and possibility of "democracy" in the face of its contemporary crisis. The book directly appeal to students and scholars interested in cutting-edge, critical reflection on the empirical phenomenon of increased violence in the West provoked by radical difference, and on the possibility of radical, political-theoretical critique.