We supposedly live in an anti-political age in which popular disaffection threatens to undermine the very foundations of democratic rule. From the rise of radical right wing populism through to public cynicism towards politicians, institutions and processes of government are being buffeted by unprecedented change that have in turn raised questions about the viability of seemingly foundational practices. Is confidence in those who rule beyond repair? Can citizens meaningfully engage in the political process? Are today’s leaders able to exercise authority?
Politicians often respond to these pressures by placing responsibility for decision making in the hands of experts, scientists, civil servants, and even private companies. However, their attempts to gain trust and credibility often fail as the media, lobbyists and social movements blame them for political failures and crises, from migration and floods to diseases and crime. Can politicians ever avoid blame for policy failures? When do usually technical issues become politicised, and by how do they pressurise politicians to step in? What are the implications for democratic accountability and responsibility at multiple levels, from city streets to global forums?
These sorts of questions reverberate around the globe and cut to the core of democratic life as we know it. They pose theoretical and empirical questions that are integral to the future of the way we are governed. The capacity of democracy to renew itself crucially depends on the answers we give.
This book series aims to provide a forum for the discussion of topics and themes related to anti-politics, depoliticisation, and political crisis. We seek works that push forward debate and challenge taken-for-granted orthodoxies. We privilege ambitious proposals that ask big questions and engage with a range of materials. Reflecting this, the series is intentionally pluralistic in its geographic, methodological and disciplinary scope. Empirical and comparative contributions are especially welcome.
Mark Chou, Benjamin Moffitt, Octavia Bryant
January 31, 2020
Offering the first in-depth analysis of the relationship between populism and political meritocracy, this book asks why states with meritocratic systems such as Singapore and China have not faced the populist challenge to the extent that liberal democratic states have. Is political meritocracy...
February 28, 2019
Proposing a novel approach to understanding the contemporary political landscape, Akram draws on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Margaret Archer on agency and argues the need for an in-depth engagement with concepts of agency to improve the reach and scope of political analysis. Is the way that...
Ramón A. Feenstra, Simon Tormey, Andreu Casero-Ripollés, John Keane
May 15, 2017
Spain has become a remarkable democratic laboratory in which millions of citizens are experimenting with new forms of political expression. This book examines the dynamics of this political laboratory, showing that the upheavals it is experiencing are likely in the near future to affect democracies...