FUGITIVE DEMOCRACY

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Fugitive Democracy

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 9781400883424
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 29.19 MB
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Sheldon Wolin was one of the most influential and original political thinkers of the past fifty years. Fugitive Democracy brings together his most important writings, from classic essays such as "Political Theory as a Vocation," written amid the Cold War and the conflict in Vietnam, to his late radical essays on American democracy such as “Fugitive Democracy,” in which he offers a controversial reinterpretation of democracy as an episodic phenomenon distinct from the routinized political management that passes for democracy today. The breathtaking range of Wolin's scholarship, political commitment, and critical acumen are on full display in this authoritative and accessible collection. He critically engages a diverse range of political theorists, including Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Richard Rorty. These essays grapple with topics such as power, modernization, the sixties, revolutionary politics, and inequality, all the while showcasing Wolin’s enduring commitment to writing civic-minded theoretical commentary on the most pressing political issues of the day. Here, Wolin laments the rise of conservatives who style themselves as revolutionary, criticizes Rawlsian liberals as abstract to the point of being apolitical, diagnoses postmodern theory as a form of acquiescence, and much more. Fugitive Democracy offers enduring insights into many of today’s most pressing political predicaments, and introduces a whole new generation of readers to this provocative figure in contemporary political thought.
Category: Political Science

Fugitive Democracy

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 0691133646
Genre : POLITICAL SCIENCE
File Size : 72.41 MB
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Sheldon Wolin was one of the most influential and original political thinkers of the past fifty years. "Fugitive Democracy" brings together his most important writings, from classic essays such as "Political Theory as a Vocation," written amid the Cold War and the conflict in Vietnam, to his late radical essays on American democracy such as "Fugitive Democracy," in which he offers a controversial reinterpretation of democracy as an episodic phenomenon distinct from the routinized political management that passes for democracy today. The breathtaking range of Wolin's scholarship, political commitment, and critical acumen are on full display in this authoritative and accessible collection. He critically engages a diverse range of political theorists, including Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Richard Rorty. These essays grapple with topics such as power, modernization, the sixties, revolutionary politics, and inequality, all the while showcasing Wolin's enduring commitment to writing civic-minded theoretical commentary on the most pressing political issues of the day. Here, Wolin laments the rise of conservatives who style themselves as revolutionary, criticizes Rawlsian liberals as abstract to the point of being apolitical, diagnoses postmodern theory as a form of acquiescence, and much more. "Fugitive Democracy" offers enduring insights into many of today's most pressing political predicaments, and introduces a whole new generation of readers to this provocative figure in contemporary political thought.
Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Democracy And Vision

Author : Aryeh Botwinick
ISBN : 0691074666
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 35.52 MB
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American democracy faces severe challenges today, as everyday life gathers pace, national borders become increasingly porous, and commodity culture becomes more dominant. Democracy and Vision assembles a cast of prominent political theorists to consider the problems confronting political life by reviewing, assessing, and expanding on the ideas of one of the most influential political thinkers of the past forty years, Sheldon Wolin. The book consists of three sections linked by the underlying theme of Wolin's monumental effort to define ''the political'' and the conditions of democratic life. In the first, Nicholas Xenos, George Kateb, Fred Dallmayr, and Charles Taylor focus, in particular, on whether mass political participation, sustainable in times of upheaval as what Wolin aptly termed ''fugitive democracy,'' can be buoyed by political institutions during periods of stability. In the second section, Wendy Brown, Aryeh Botwinick, Melissa A. Orlie, and Anne Norton examine the relevance of Wolin's ideas to current debates about, for example, social diversity and the commercialization of culture. In the last, Stephen K. White, Kirstie M. McClure, Michael J. Shapiro, and J. Peter Euben address globalization and temporality in relation to Wolin's narrative of decline, asking, among other things, whether citizenship today must incorporate a cosmopolitan dimension. These essays--and an introduction by William Connolly that lucidly outlines Wolin's thought and the deep uncertainty about political theory in the 1960s that did much to inspire his work--offer unprecedented insights into Wolin's lament that modernity has meant the loss of the political.
Category: Philosophy

Radical Democracy And Political Theology

Author : Jeffrey W. Robbins
ISBN : 9780231156363
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 28.52 MB
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Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that "the people reign over the American political world like God over the universe," unwittingly casting democracy as the political instantiation of the death of God. According to Jeffrey W. Robbins, Tocqueville's assessment remains an apt observation of modern democratic power, which does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates as a diffuse social force. By linking radical democratic theory to a contemporary fascination with political theology, Robbins envisions the modern experience of democracy as a social, cultural, and political force transforming the nature of sovereign power and political authority. Robbins joins his work with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's radical conception of "network power," as well as Sheldon Wolin's notion of "fugitive democracy," to fashion a political theology that captures modern democracy's social and cultural torment. This approach has profound implications not only for the nature of contemporary religious belief and practice but also for the reconceptualization of the proper relationship between religion and politics. Challenging the modern, liberal, and secular assumption of a neutral public space, Robbins conceives of a postsecular politics for contemporary society that inextricably links religion to the political. While effectively recasting the tradition of radical theology as a political theology, this book also develops a comprehensive critique of the political theology bequeathed by Carl Schmitt. It marks an original and visionary achievement by the scholar the Journal of the American Academy of Religion hailed "one of the best commentators on religion and postmodernism."
Category: Philosophy

Democracy Incorporated

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 9781400888405
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 31.12 MB
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Democracy is struggling in America--by now this statement is almost cliché. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms "inverted totalitarianism"? Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies. Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level. Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightning rod for political debate for years to come. Now with a new introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges, Democracy Incorporated remains an essential work for understanding the state of democracy in America.
Category: Political Science

Tocqueville Between Two Worlds

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 0691114544
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 67.4 MB
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Alexis de Tocqueville may be the most influential political thinker in American history. He also led an unusually active and ambitious career in French politics. In this magisterial book, one of America's most important contemporary theorists draws on decades of research and thought to present the first work that fully connects Tocqueville's political and theoretical lives. In doing so, Sheldon Wolin presents sweeping new interpretations of Tocqueville's major works and of his place in intellectual history. As he traces the origins and impact of Tocqueville's ideas, Wolin also offers a profound commentary on the general trajectory of Western political life over the past two hundred years. Wolin proceeds by examining Tocqueville's key writings in light of his experiences in the troubled world of French politics. He portrays Democracy in America, for example, as a theory of discovery that emerged from Tocqueville's contrasting experiences of America and of France's constitutional monarchy. He shows us how Tocqueville used Recollections to reexamine his political commitments in light of the revolutions of 1848 and the threat of socialism. He portrays The Old Regime and the French Revolution as a work of theoretical history designed to throw light on the Bonapartist despotism he saw around him. Throughout, Wolin highlights the tensions between Tocqueville's ideas and his activities as a politician, arguing that--despite his limited political success--Tocqueville was ''perhaps the last influential theorist who can be said to have truly cared about political life.'' In the course of the book, Wolin also shows that Tocqueville struggled with many of the forces that constrain politics today, including the relentless advance of capitalism, of science and technology, and of state bureaucracy. He concludes that Tocqueville's insights and anxieties about the impotence of politics in a ''postaristocratic'' era speak directly to the challenges of our own ''postdemocratic'' age. A monumental new study of Tocqueville, this is also a rich and provocative work about the past, the present, and the future of democratic life in America and abroad.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Christianity And Politics

Author : C. C. Pecknold
ISBN : 9781621892205
Genre : Religion
File Size : 48.41 MB
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It is not simply for rhetorical flourish that politicians so regularly invoke God's blessings on the country. It is because the relatively new form of power we call the nation-state arose out of a Western political imagination steeped in Christianity. In this brief guide to the history of Christianity and politics, Pecknold shows how early Christianity reshaped the Western political imagination with its new theological claims about eschatological time, participation, and communion with God and neighbor. The ancient view of the Church as the "mystical body of Christ" is singled out in particular as the author traces shifts in its use and meaning throughout the early, medieval, and modern periods-shifts in how we understand the nature of the person, community and the moral conscience that would give birth to a new relationship between Christianity and politics. While we have many accounts of this narrative from either political or ecclesiastical history, we have few that avoid the artificial separation of the two. This book fills that gap and presents a readable, concise, and thought-provoking introduction to what is at stake in the contentious relationship between Christianity and politics. Review "Political theology--thinking theologically about politics and understanding all political thought as first-and-last theological--is a lively field that until now has lacked a lucid and elegantly brief introduction. Pecknold's book fills that gap, and more: it makes a real theoretical contribution of its own, most notably in its treatment of the migration of the treatment of conscience from church to state, and the effects of that migration on the understanding of freedom, political and otherwise." --Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Chair of Catholic Theology, Duke Divinity School "Modern life and thought has a centripetal force, separating into discrete units what should be held together: politics, economics, theology, metaphysics, liturgy, and history. This division of labor creates specialists who can see the units but lack focus for a larger vision . . . In this substantive, readable, brief history of the relation between theology and politics, Pecknold focuses our vision by bringing together his own considerable acumen for both theology and politics. This comprehensive work shows connections that only someone of his breadth of knowledge could see. The result is a first-rate work that sets the bar for political theology." --D. Stephen Long, Professor of Systematic Theology, Marquette University "If it is true that 'youth is wasted on the young,' then to restrict this so-called primer only to beginning learners or students would be wasteful in the extreme. This is a first-rate book, a serious and fascinating work on theology and politics that masquerades as a gateway resource. Yet it also succeeds as an outstanding introduction--readable without being simplistic, engaging key voices and eras in the long interaction between Christianity and politics. I can't wait to use this book with students, both to give them a solid grounding in key ideas and sources, as well as whetting their appetites for joining in these crucial conversations and debates. Anyone with an interest in the church and politics will benefit from this book." --Michael Budde, Professor of Political Science, DePaul University "At last I have found a textbook for my undergraduate course on Christianity and Politics! Pecknold's book is brief and crystal clear, ideally suited to supplement primary source readings in an introductory class. This book helps the student grasp the sweep of Christianity's political history in a relatively few deft strokes. The broad-brush approach does not mean the book is simplistic, however. To the contrary, Pecknold's analysis is insightful, engaging, and at times contentious. Pecknold shows how theological concepts like 'mystical body' have wandered in and out of different political arrangements. In so doing, he shows students how church history and political history are not two separate subjects but one, and a fascinating one at that." --William T. Cavanaugh, Professor of Theology, St. Thomas University --Wipf and Stock Publishers From the Back Cover ". . . a first-rate work that sets the bar for political theology." -D. Stephen Long, Marquette University "At last I have found a textbook for my undergraduate course on Christianity and Politics!" -William T. Cavanaugh, St. Thomas University ". . . a serious and fascinating work on theology and politics that masquerades as a gateway resource." -Michael Budde, DePaul University ". . . a lucid and elegantly brief introduction. . . [that] makes a real theoretical contribution of its own." -Paul Griffiths, Duke Divinity School --Back Cover
Category: Religion

Philosophy Politics Democracy

Author : Joshua Cohen
ISBN : 0674034481
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 26.54 MB
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Over the past 20 years, Joshua Cohen has explored the most controversial issues facing the American public. This volume draws on his work to develop an argument about what he calls 'democracy's public reason'.
Category: Philosophy

Forging Democracy

Author : Geoff Eley
ISBN : 0198021402
Genre : History
File Size : 67.64 MB
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Democracy in Europe has been a recent phenomenon. Only in the wake of World War II were democratic frameworks secured, and, even then, it was decades before democracy truly blanketed the continent. Neither given nor granted, democracy requires conflict, often violent confrontations, and challenges to the established political order. In Europe, Geoff Eley convincingly shows, democracy did not evolve organically out of a natural consensus, the achievement of prosperity, or the negative cement of the Cold War. Rather, it was painstakingly crafted, continually expanded, and doggedly defended by varying constellations of socialist, feminist, Communist, and other radical movements that originally blossomed in the later nineteenth century. Parties of the Left championed democracy in the revolutionary crisis after World War I, salvaged it against the threat of fascism, and renewed its growth after 1945. They organized civil societies rooted in egalitarian ideals which came to form the very fiber of Europe's current democratic traditions. The trajectories of European democracy and the history of the European Left are thus inextricably bound together. Geoff Eley has given us the first truly comprehensive history of the European Left--its successes and failures; its high watermarks and its low tides; its accomplishments, insufficiencies, and excesses; and, most importantly, its formative, lasting influence on the European political landscape. At a time when the Left's influence and legitimacy are frequently called into question, Forging Democracy passionately upholds its vital contribution.
Category: History

Democracy Against The State

Author : Miguel Abensour
ISBN : 9780745650098
Genre : Philosophy
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In the "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,” the young Marx elliptically alludes to a "true democracy" whose advent would go hand in hand with the disappearance of the state. Miguel Abensour’s rigorous interpretation of this seminal text reveals an “unknown Marx” who undermines the identification of democracy with the state and defends a historically occluded form of politics. True democracy does not entail the political and economic power of the state, but it does not dream of a post-political society either. On the contrary, the battle of democracy is waged by a demos that invents a public sphere of permanent struggles, a politics that counters political bureaucracy and representation. Democracy is "won" by a people forewarned that any dissolution of the political realm in its independence, any subordination to the state, is tantamount to annihilating the site for gaining and regaining a genuinely human existence. In this explicitly heterodox reading of Marx, Miguel Abensour proposes a theory of "insurgent" democracy that makes political liberty synonymous with a living critique of domination.
Category: Philosophy