The Democratic Imagination: Envisioning Popular Power in the Twenty-First Century

Overview

Democracy is very much an open question in the early twenty-first century. While voter participation declines in many traditional democracies, new movements for democracy are emerging around the world. This book brings the question of democracy out of the halls of political power and home to our daily lives, pitting "official democracy" and "democracy from below" against one another in a lively debate.

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Overview

Democracy is very much an open question in the early twenty-first century. While voter participation declines in many traditional democracies, new movements for democracy are emerging around the world. This book brings the question of democracy out of the halls of political power and home to our daily lives, pitting "official democracy" and "democracy from below" against one another in a lively debate.

For more information see www.democraticimagination.com.

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What People Are Saying

Elaine Bernard
Cairns and Sears have written an entertaining and informative popular guide to democracy for the twenty-first century filled with fuel and insight for igniting the democratic imagination.? A must-read for anyone interested in opening their thinking to a wider world of ideas.
Judy Rebick
In a time of history when established democracy is being challenged everywhere by movements in the streets, The Democratic Imagination provides a readable and provocative analysis of the different ideas about democracy fuelling these conflicts. You'll never think about democracy in the same way again.
Nikhil Singh
By re-opening 'the question of democracy' to those who refuse to limit it to a matter of well-functioning markets and periodic elections, Cairns and Sears prime the democratic imagination for a new era of popular struggle.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442605282
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
  • Publication date: 10/15/2012
  • Pages: 211
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

James Cairns is Assistant Professor in the Contemporary Studies Department at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford. He is the co-author, with Alan Sears, of A Good Book, In Theory: Making Sense Through Inquiry.

Alan Sears is Professor of Sociology at Ryerson University, Toronto. He is the author of Retooling the Mind Factory: Education in a Lean State (2003).

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Table of Contents

List of Exercising Your Democratic Imagination Textboxes ix

Acknowledgements xi

1 Democracy as an Open Question 1

Expanding the Democratic Imagination

Debating Democracy

Official Democracy

Democracy from Below

Making Democracy in the Twenty-First Century

Reopening Democratic Debates

2 Political, Social, and Economic Democracy 25

Democracy as a Form of Government

Democracy and Capitalism

Mission Accomplished?

Democracy Domesticated

Democracy Unleashed

Democracy as a Practice of Everyday Life

Democracy @ Work

Democracy @ School

Democracy @ Everywhere

3 Citizenship and Inequality 49

Membership Matters

The Limits of Citizenship

The Birth of Modern Citizenship

Fights for Rights

Social Citizenship

"The Times They Are a-Changin"

The Tide Turns: Citizenship in Neo-liberal Times

No One Is Illegal

The Shifting Borders of Citizenship

4 There and Not There: Representation and Participation 73

Representative Democracy

Who's In, Who's Out?

Representation and Participation

The Paradox of Representation

Making Your Voice Heard

5 Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Democracy, and the State 95

Bureaucracy and Efficiency

Bureaucracy, Red Tape, and Democracy

Theories of State and Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy and Inequality

Bureaucracy and Austerity

6 The Power Op Knowing 115

Democracy for Dummies

Educating the Educators

Knowing What's Good for You

Knowledge Is Located

Who Knows Better?

7 Democracy and Body Politics 135

Body Politics and the Use of Metaphor

Violence and Political Bodies

Democracy and Bodies in Action

Nurturing Democracy

Keep Your Laws off Our Bodies

The Body Politic in Lean Times

Consumption and Body Politics

Virtuality, Democracy, and Body Politics

Democracy and Embodied Inequality

Embodied Democracy

8 The Struggle Continues 157

Democracy in Crisis

Ways of Seeing Democracy

Struggles, Settlements… and More Struggles

Another World Is Possible

Building Democratic Capacities

Glossary 173

References 181

Index 201

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