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Cover Art
Author Little, Adrian, 1969-

Title Democratic piety : complexity, conflict and violence / Adrian Little.

Published Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, [2008]


Location Call No. Status
Physical description 1 online resource (viii, 191 pages).
polychrome rdacc
Series Taking on the political.
Taking on the political (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Books at JSTOR All Purchased.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 179-186) and index.
Contents Introduction: Pious discourses of democracy -- 1. Complexity theory and democratic politics -- 2. Complexity, democratisation and conflict -- 3. Democracy, consensus and dissent -- 4. Democracy and violence -- 5. Terrorism, violence and the ethics of democracy -- Conclusion: The constitutive failure of democracy.
Summary This book presents an innovative analysis of the nature of democratic theory, focusing on the prevalence of pious discourses of democracy in contemporary politics. Democracy is now promoted in religious terms to such an extent that it has become sacrosanct in Western political theory. Rather than accepting this situation, this book argues that such piety relies on unsophisticated political analysis that pays scant attention to the complex conditions of contemporary politics. Little contends that the importance of conflict is underplayed in much democratic theory and that it is more useful to think instead of democracy in terms of the centrality of political disagreement and its propensity to generate political violence. This argument is exemplified by the ways in which democracy and violence have been conceptualized in the war on terrorism. Fighting against democratic piety, this book contends that it is vital to understand the inevitable failure of democratic politics and thus promotes a theory of democracy founded on the idea of 'constitutive failure'. This book: (1) Challenges democratic piety through the application of key contemporary approaches in political theory: complexity theory, post-structuralism and the idea of radical democracy; (2) Uses the work of theorists such as Jacques Rancière, William Connolly, Chantal Mouffe, Judith Butler, Giorgio Agamben, Walter Benjamin and Alain Badiou to interrogate the discourses of democracy which characterize contemporary political debate; and (3) Grounds the theoretical analysis of democratic discourse with examples from contemporary politics including the war on terror, the process of indigenous reconciliation in Australia, the struggles for recognition of refugees and asylum seekers, the plight of the Sans-Papiers in France, and the problems in Northern Irish politics over the last ten years.
Other author JSTOR, issuing body.
Subject Democracy -- Philosophy.
Electronic books.
Standard Number 9786611785888
ISBN 9780748633661