Democracy Disrupted

Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest

Ivan Krastev
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 98
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  • Book Info
    Democracy Disrupted
    Book Description:

    Since the financial meltdown of 2008, political protests have spread around the world like chain lightning, from the "Occupy" movements of the United States, Great Britain, and Spain to more destabilizing forms of unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Ukraine. InDemocracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, journalist and political scientist Ivan Krastev proposes a provocative interpretation of these popular uprisings-one with ominous implications for the future of democratic politics.Challenging theories that trace the protests to the rise of a global middle class, Krastev proposes that the insurrections express a pervasive distrust of democratic institutions. Protesters on the streets of Moscow, Sofia, Istanbul, and São Paulo are openly suspicious of both the market and the state. They reject established political parties, question the motives of the mainstream media, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any specific leadership, and reject all formal organizations. They have made clear what they don't want-the status quo-but they have no positive vision of an alternative future.Welcome to the worldwide libertarian revolution, in which democracy is endlessly disrupted to no end beyond the disruption itself.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-9074-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [iii]-[iv])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The European revolutions of 1848 ended on December 2, 1851, when tragedy repeated itself as a farce and Louis Napoleon Bonaparte guillotined the Second French Republic by means of a coup. In the days and weeks during which this last act of the revolutionary drama was unfolding before the eyes of the world, five of the greatest political minds of nineteenth-century Europe ran to their writing desks with the ambition to capture the meaning of the event. They felt they were living in strange times, “when one was never sure, between ordering and eating one’s dinner, whether a revolution might...

  4. Chapter 1 Protest against Politics
    (pp. 7-32)

    “What is going on?” asked radical French philosopher Alan Badiou two years ago. “Of what are we half-fascinated, halfdevastated witnesses? The continuation, at all costs, of a weary world? A salutary crisis of that world . . . ? The end of that world? The advent of a different world?”¹

    The trigger for all these questions has been the massive explosion of protests that has shattered the world since the advent of the Great Recession in 2008. In the last five years, political protests have erupted in more than seventy countries.² Some of these, like Egypt and Tunisia, were autocracies;...

  5. Chapter 2 The Democracy of Rejection
    (pp. 33-62)

    InThe Watcher, one of Italo Calvino’s early novels, the great writer spins a tale of an election suffused with madness, passion, and reason. The protagonist, Amerigo Ormea, an unmarried leftist intellectual, agrees to be an election monitor in Turin’s famous Cottolengo Hospital for Incurables—a home for the mentally ill and disabled. Taking on the role is Ormea’s circuitous way to join the struggle. Ever since voting became obligatory in Italy following World War II, places like Cottolengo had served as a great reservoir for right-wing Christian Democratic votes. The hospital thus serves as a vivid illustration of the...

  6. Chapter 3 Exit Politics
    (pp. 63-78)

    Inspired by the East Germans’ triumph over communism by leaving rather than fighting, several West German anarchists in 1990 designed a monument,Unknown Deserters, commemorating those who perished in both world wars: “This is for the man who refused to kill his fellow man,” the monument read, a silhouette of a running man carved into a block of granite. Anarchists, who carried it from city square to city square, hoped East Germans would countenance defection as a form of class struggle and embrace the concept of a one-person revolution. You do not need parties or revolutionary armies to change the...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 79-80)
  8. Notes
    (pp. 81-84)