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Palgrave Macmillan

Democratic Theorists in Conversation

Turns in Contemporary Thought

ISBN 9781137322760
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The principles and practices of democracy in the twenty-first century have changed drastically from how they were understood hundreds and even thousands of years ago. In the world today, we not only think about democracy differently and practice it differently, we are also predicting new and distinct futures for it. On top of this, the origins of democracy have been brought into question while democratic theory has been picked apart and the practice of democracy has been presented with new challenges. This book argues that the result of these changes is a new understanding of democracy termed 'new democratic theory'. Through interviews with renowned democratic theorists working today, Ulrich Beck, Noam Chomsky, John Dryzek, John Dunn, Francis Fukuyama, David Held, Ramin Jahanbegloo, John Keane, Pierre Rosanvallon, Thomas Seeley, and Albert Weale, this book provides an in-depth exploration of new democratic theory. The result is striking with each interview highlighting new dimensions and changes to our understanding of democracy.

Dr Jean-Paul Gagnon is University Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University

1. Introduction: New Democratic Theory?
2. The Impossibility of 'Knowing' Democracy; with John Dunn
3. The Changing History of Democracy; with Albert Weale
4. Democracy Before and After the State; with Francis Fukuyama
5. The Cultural Turn in New Democratic Theory; with Ramin Jahanbegloo
6. Questions about the New Democratic Theory; with David Held
7. The Reflexive Modernisation of Democracy; with Ulrich Beck
8. Twists of Democratic Governance; with John Dryzek
9. Certain Turns of Modernity in Democratic Theory; with Pierre Rosanvallon
10. Broadening the Democratic Imagination; with John Keane
11. Nonhuman Democratic Practice; with Thomas Seeley
12. Global Leviathan Rising; with Noam Chomsky
13. Conclusion; Shapes of the Frontier

Ulrich Beck, University of Munich (LMU), Germany and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK
Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
John Dryzek, Australian National University, Australia
John Dunn, University of Cambridge, UK and Chiba University, Japan
Francis Fukuyama, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, USA
David Held, University of Durham, UK
Ramin Jahanbegloo, York University, Canada
John Keane, University of Sydney, Australia and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Germany
Pierre Rosanvallon, Collège de France, France
Thomas Seeley, Cornell University, USA
Albert Weale, University College London, UK


'This book is a must for anyone interested in new ways of thinking about democracy. The lively and engaging style of the conversations with leading theorists made the collection a compelling read from start to finish.'– Paulina Tambakaki, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, UK
'Democratic Theorists in Conversation is a timely, kaleidoscopic set of stimulating interviews, producing fresh and surprising insights into the past, present, and possibly future practices of democracy.'– Nikolas Kompridis, Professorial Fellow in Philosophy, University of Western Sydney, Australia
'The interview is an under-utilized but hugely rewarding resource in political theory. In this book the reader gets to listen-in to conversations with leading philosophers and intellectuals as they speak in their own words about the challenges and hopes of democracy today.'– Simone Chambers, Professor of Political Theory, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Canada
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