Making Political Anger Possible: A Task for Civic Education

The article asks whether political anger has a legitimate place in a democracy, as this is a political system designed to resolve conflicts by peaceful negotiation. It distinguishes personal from social anger and political anger, to focus explicitly on the latter. It argues that both the feeling and expression of political anger are subject to normative constraints, often specific to social status and gender. The article examines arguments, including those of Seneca, in favour of an anger-free society. It concludes, however, that a democracy cannot dispense with political anger, which has a vital role to play in protecting things of value. This role demands a civic education such that when democratic values are under threat citizens will not feel apathetic or simply fearful, but angry and possessed of a repertoire of ways of expressing democratic anger
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2012.00837.x
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Martha Nussbaum (2003). Upheavals of Thought. Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325-341.
Gabriele Taylor (2006). Deadly Vices. Oxford University Press.

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