Recent political developments all around the world urge us to thoroughly reflect upon the nature of democracy and democratisation. Three lines of reconceptualization stand in the forefront of this seminar. First, while many governments outside the Western hemisphere depict their political forms as non-democratic, sections of their populations deploy democratic means while pursuing their (adversary) political projects. Politics is therefore becoming more and more de-nationalised and trans-nationalised. Struggles within national institutions are increasingly buttressed by exchange, support, and inspiration generated across national borders.
Second, while the bulk of research continues to be oriented on such classic institutions as governments, political parties and general elections, political processes are more and more shaped by social movements, by individual and collective actions performed by various types of activists, scholars and artists. Every-day politics and actions turn into ‘lived democracy’. Actors highlight the importance of performative dimensions of the political and on the importance of social media in enabling participation. The shape of politics is undergoing continuous change, deploying new forms of expression and dissemination. New types of political arguments – including figures of political emotions - acquire legitimacy.
Third, while democratic means and forms are embraced by more and more civil society members all around the world, democracy has recently come under critical scrutiny. Critical positionings abound in the public sphere as well as in academic literature – as can be observed in the growing literature carrying the idea of post/democracy forward. Neo-liberal politics, especially paired with elitism and increasing entanglements between public and private sector as well as the fragmentation of the social call for more participatory action by civil society actors.
These debates stand in the forefront of this seminar – that is divided into four parts. In the first block, recent anthropological as well as micro-sociological and –political science perspectives will be introduced. In the second block, several recent case-studies on new democratic movements (such as the ‘occupy-movement’) will be discussed. The third block is dedicated to such key-themes as security / securitization, the nexus of democracy and violence as well as political emotions. The fourth block centres on student politics. Further themes will be suggested for individual readings and for group work.
Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse
The seminar is open for master students. The seminar requires good English reading competences and is planned to be held in English.
Ashforth, A. (2005): Witchcraft, Violence and Democracy in South Africa. University of Chicago.
Banerjee, Mukulika (2008): Democracy, Sacred and Everyday: An Ethnographic Case from India. In: Paley, Julia (Hg.): Democracy. Anthropological approaches. School for Advanced Research Press: Santa Fe; S. 63-95.
Colin Crouch (2004) Post Democracy. London: Politiy Press.
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland; Bal, Ellen; Salemink, Oscar (Hg.) (2010): A World of Insecurity: Anthropological Perspectives On Human Security. Pluto Press: London.
Gellner, David N.; Hachhethu, Krishna (2008): Introduction. In: Gellner, David N.; Hachhethu, Krishna (Hg.): Local democracy in South Asia. Microprocesses of democratization in Nepal and its neighbours. New Delhi ; Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, S. 13-22.
Juris, Jeffrey. 2012. “Reflections on #Occupy Everywhere: Social Media, Public Space, and Emerging Logics of Aggregation.” American Ethnologist 39 (2):259-279.
Michelutti, Lucia (2007): The vernacularization of democracy. Political participation and popular politics in North India. In: The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13 (3), S. 639–656.
Paley, Julia (2008): Introduction. In: Paley, Julia (Hg.): Democracy. Anthropological approaches. School for Advanced Research Press: Santa Fe; S. 3-20.
Pfaff-Czarnecka, Joanna (2011): ‘Demokratisierung’. In: Lexikon der Globalisierung. Ed. von F. Kreff, E. Knoll, A. Gingrich: Bielefeld transkript Verlag, S. 39-41.
Razsa, Maple and Andrej Kurnik. 2012. “The Occupy Movement in Žižek’s Hometown: Direct Democracy and a Politics of Becoming." American Ethnologist 39 (2):238-258.