Democracy And Domination

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Overview

Drawing on the genealogical tradition developed by Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault, Democracy and Domination: Technologies of Integration and the Rise of Collective Power argues that from the time of Ancient Greece to the present, the collective and centralizing aspects of power have been expanding in the Western world. This expansion can be located within institutional structures that coordinate human activity, requiring populations to have some technology by which the act of communication takes place. This work examines the rise of phonetic writing and the formalization of teaching as preconditions for the expansion of collective power. Speech and writing provide populations a common language and history, thus providing the cultural integration necessary for the synchronization of action. However, for this coordination of activities on a mass scale there must also be institutional structures for the formal training of system managers and officials. Large polities require infrastructure, some formal economic arrangements, and a system of production to meet the material needs of the population. Each of these institutional arrangements is treated as a mechanism that expands the scope and depth of power. Finally, there must be some social technology that sets the direction that collective action takes. Since the seventeenth century, this role has been taken by the practice of democracy. The authors reject the idea that democracy expanded because it was the most consistent with the human being's ontological quest for freedom, asserting instead that the expansion of democracy takes place in the modern period because of its ability to legitimate the expansion and centralization of power itself. Thus, the systemic needs for greater coordination of human activity on a national and global scale have pushed democracy to the forefront as a system for legitimating the collectivization and coordination of human behavior.

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Editorial Reviews

William L. Niemi
Koch and Zeddy’s Democracy and Domination uses a Foucauldian analysis of power to revive the Nietzschean critique of democracy. Understanding the historical rise of democracy in the West as ever more efficient techniques of domination, the authors argue that democracy is a specific form of social control constituted through knowledge production and the collectivization of power. The incisive historical and material analysis is sure to spark controversy and discussion among political theorists and students of democracy.
Wayne Gabardi
Democracy and Domination is an ambitious historical study of the integration and disintegration of Western institutions of sovereign power from the ancient Greek /polis/ to twenty-first century globalization. Placing particular emphasis on the integrating and legitimizing capacities of 'soft' forms of domination—literacy, technologies of knowledge dissemination, agencies of socialization, education, and democracy—Koch and Zeddy conclude that Western democracy is a Janus-faced form of legitimizing power.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739122150
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2009
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew M. Koch is professor of government and justice studies at Appalachian State University and author ofPoststructuralism and the Politics of Method,Romance and Reason: Ontological and Social Sources of Alienation, andKnowledge and Social Construction. Amanda Gail Zeddy has been an adjunct professor of American Government and Politics at Appalachian State University and is currently working on her PhD at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1. The Study of Domination Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Athens and Rome: Dissemination, Identity, and the Rise of Central Power Chapter 4 Chapter 3. The Middle Ages: Domination and Administration in an Age of Illiteracy Chapter 5 Chapter 4. The Birth of the Nation-State and the Rise of Humanism Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Democracy, Industrial Production, and the Rise of National Power Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Collective Power in the Twenty-first Century Chapter 8 Concluding Remarks

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