The Eyes of the People: Democracy in an Age of Spectatorship

OUP USA (2010)
Abstract
For centuries it has been assumed that democracy must refer to the empowerment of the People's voice. In this pioneering book, Jeffrey Edward Green makes the case for considering the People as an ocular entity rather than a vocal one. Green argues that it is both possible and desirable to understand democracy in terms of what the People gets to see instead of the traditional focus on what it gets to say. The Eyes of the People examines democracy from the perspective of everyday citizens in their everyday lives. While it is customary to understand the citizen as a decision-maker, in fact most citizens rarely engage in decision-making and do not even have clear views on most political issues. The ordinary citizen is not a decision-maker but a spectator who watches and listens to the select few empowered to decide. Grounded on this everyday phenomenon of spectatorship, The Eyes of the People constructs a democratic theory applicable to the way democracy is actually experienced by most people most of the time. In approaching democracy from the perspective of the People's eyes, Green rediscovers and rehabilitates a forgotten "plebiscitarian" alternative within the history of democratic thought. Building off the contributions of a wide range of thinkers--including Aristotle, Shakespeare, Benjamin Constant, Max Weber, Joseph Schumpeter, and many others--Green outlines a novel democratic paradigm centered on empowering the People's gaze through forcing politicians to appear in public under conditions they do not fully control. The Eyes of the People is at once a sweeping overview of the state of democratic theory and a call to rethink the meaning of democracy within the sociological and technological conditions of the twenty-first century. In addition to political scientists and students of democracy, the book likely will be of interest to political journalists, theorists of visual culture, and anyone in search of political principles that acknowledge, rather than repress, the pathologies of political life in contemporary mass society.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $11.24 used (80% off)   $13.20 new (76% off)   $46.02 direct from Amazon (17% off)    Amazon page
ISBN(s) 9780195372649   0195372646
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,371
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
David Elstein (2010). Why Early Confucianism Cannot Generate Democracy. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (4):427-443.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-01-31

Total downloads

6 ( #206,773 of 1,102,845 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #120,475 of 1,102,845 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.