By Matthew Flinders
If the 20th century witnessed the triumph of democracy then whatever looks to have long gone heavily improper. electorate around the globe became distrustful of politicians, sceptical approximately democratic associations, and dissatisfied in regards to the potential of democratic politics to unravel urgent social issues. This shift in worldwide attitudes has been explored in an enormous physique of writing that examines the life of 'disaffected democrats' and 'democratic deficits'. protecting Politics meets this modern pessimism concerning the political technique head on. In doing so, it goals to domesticate a shift from the tasteless and fatalistic 'politics of pessimism' that looks to dominate public lifestyles in the direction of a extra buoyant and engaged 'politics of optimism'.
Matthew Flinders makes a hugely retro yet really very important argument of just about primitive simplicity: democratic politics promises way over such a lot contributors of the general public seem to recognize and comprehend. If progressively more everyone is disillusioned with what smooth democratic politics gives you then is it attainable that the fault lies with those that call for an excessive amount of, fail to recognize the essence of democratic engagement and forget about the complexities of governing within the 20th century instead of with democratic politics itself? Is it attainable that the general public in lots of complicated liberal democracies became 'democratically decadent' within the experience that they take what democratic politics provides without any consideration? might politics be interpreted as failing rather less if all of us spent rather less time emphasising our person rights and a bit extra time reflecting on our tasks to society and destiny generations?
Democratic politics is still 'a nice and civilizing human activity... anything to be valued nearly as a pearl past rate within the background of the human condition', as Bernard Crick under pressure in his vintage In Defence of Politics fifty years in the past. however it is usually a much more fragile approach of governing than many folks seem to detect. through returning to and updating Crick's arguments, this ebook presents a good account of why democratic politics issues and why we have to reject the arguments of these who might flip their backs on 'mere politics' in favour of extra authoritarian, populist or technocratic kinds of governing. In rejecting trendy fears concerning the 'end of politics' and bold to signify that the general public, the media, strain teams, lecturers and politicians are all a part of the matter in addition to a part of the treatment, this publication presents a clean, provocative, and primarily confident view of the achievements and destiny strength of democratic politics.
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Extra resources for Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the Twenty-First Century
As the campaign came towards an end, and particularly as public opinion surveys suggested an Obama victory was likely, his campaign team’s focus shifted to an emphasis on lowering public expectations about what he would be able to achieve if elected. The sudden financial crisis and the prospect of a deep and painful recession increased the urgency inside Obama’s campaign team to bring people down to earth, after a campaign in which his soaring rhetoric and promises of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ were suddenly confronted with the reality of a stricken economy.
What political scientist Bob Goodin has described as a ‘veil of ambiguity’ reflects not some dastardly fact about politics but simply that it is part of human communication to say different things to a different audience. There are perfectly good reasons why we don’t tell the same story to our husband or wife, our boss, our friends, or our children and there is nothing innately wrong with this. When the same logic is transferred to the political sphere the morally troubling elements of duplicity become more obvious but that does not hide the fact that sometimes a degree of moral duplicity is necessary to secure the common good.
Wright Mill’s The Power Elite, or Anthony Birch’s Representative and Responsible Government (1964), they share a common trait in that all made fairly complex arguments but in a way that ordinary people could understand. The art of communication has, however, been lost in the twenty-first century as academics increasingly say more and more about less and less and in a manner that is frequently impenetrable to all but a handful of other professors. Academic writing has increasingly become associated with self-interested turf wars rather than public engagement.