Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (4-5):465-475 (2016)

Albena Azmanova
University of Kent at Canterbury
Against pronouncements of the recent demise of both democracy and the political, I maintain that there is, rather, something amiss with the process of politicization in which social grievances are translated into matters of political concern and become objects of policy-making. I therefore propose to seek an antidote to the de-politicizing tendencies of our age by reanimating the mechanism that transmits social conflicts and grievances into politics. To that purpose, I formulate the notion of a ‘fundamental right to politics’ as the opposite of the techne of policy-making. I articulate this right via a reconstruction of the logical presuppositions of democracy as collective self-authorship. I then recast the concept of non-domination by discerning two trajectories of domination – ‘relational’ and ‘systemic’ ones, to argue that in a viable democracy that makes full use of the right to politics, the dynamics of politicization should take place along both trajectories; currently, however, matters of systemic injustice get translated in relational terms and politicized as concerns for inclusion into and distribution within the existing system of social relations, rather than its radical overhaul
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DOI 10.1177/0191453715623394
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