10 January 2010

Article: Unpolitical Democracy

Nadia Urbinati, who is said to be working currently on a monograph on "the ideology of the anti-political" and the critics of democracy, has an article published under the title "Unpolitical Democracy" in the first issue of 2010 of the journal "Political Theory" (38 [1]: pp. 65-92):


I haven't been able to access the article yet, but one of the keywords she uses to classify it is "antidemocracy" and here is the abstract:

"This paper analyzes critically the appeal the unpolitical is enjoying among contemporary political philosophers who are democracy's friends. Unlike a radical critique of democracy, what I propose to call 'criticism from within,' takes the form of dissatisfaction with the erosion of an independent mind and impartial judgment per effect of the partisan character of democratic politics. This paper proposes three main criticisms of the actual trend toward unpolitical views of democracy: the first points to the strategic use of deliberation as an antidote against democratic procedures themselves (like voting and majority rule); the second to the negative conception of democracy that the unpolitical aspiration makes visible; and the third to the dissolution of political judgment within a model of judgment that is tailored around justice."

Articles by Urbinati bearing similar titles have already appeared in Italian ("Democrazia depoliticizzata, tra impolitica e antipolitica", in "il Mulino: Rivista bimestrale die cultura e di politica", issue 2, March-April 2008: pp. 389-98) and French ("Démocratie dépolitisée", with Juliette Blamont, in "Critique", 64 [731], 2008: pp. 275-90).

Italian-born Nadia Urbinati is Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University.

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