Politics without Romance? The pursuit of consent in democracy.

History of European Ideas 47:1-16 (2020)

Arianna Bove
Queen Mary University of London
Democratic governance is under increasing scrutiny as a result of waning trust in political institutions, and a widening gap between public aspirations and government performance. The purpose of this paper is to address what is currently diagnosed as a democratic deficit by calling into question the notion of consent, procedures advocated in its pursuit, and its relationship with democracy. To this purpose, the paper reviews seminal works that have investigated the nexus of democracy and consent over time: The Calculus of Consent, The Engineering of Consent and Manufacturing Consent. In this, it presents different understandings of the processes whereby consent is arrived at, and questions whether they support or undermine democratic aspirations.
Keywords Consent  dissent  public choice theory  democracy  propaganda
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