Several decades ago, the two-volume Democracy and Civil Society and Civil Society and the State: New European Perspectives (1988) made an appeal for reclaiming the old category of civil society and placing it at the heart of the contemporary human sciences. First revived in Japan during the 1960s, the term civil society featured prominently in the…
democracy in 21st C
Since 1945, the language and institutions of democracy have taken root in so many different geographic contexts that more than a few presuppositions of democratic theory have been invalidated. As democracy spread through the world, the world has made its mark on democracy, even though the metamorphosis remains largely unregistered in the Atlantic-centred literature on democracy….
history & methods
In matters of democracy, ignorance about the past breeds misunderstandings of the present, sometimes with damaging effects on visions of what democracy might become in the future. What is needed is sharpened awareness of the historicity of its spirit, language and institutions, not for antiquarian reasons, but for the purpose of heightening our awareness that democracy
media & democracy
Just as in the 16th century, when the production of printed books and the efforts to read codex type required a fundamental shift of political perspective, so today, in the emergent world of communicative abundance, a whole new mental effort is required to make sense of how democracies are being shaped and re-shaped by the new tools and rhetoric of communication, and to see why our very thinking about democracy must also change….
religion & politics
Religious experience, once described by William James as…
WAR, VIOLENCE, FEAR
The old Hobbesian presumption that war, violence and fear are intrinsically part of life