Agonistic Democracy and Political Practice: Ways of Being Adversarial

Palgrave Macmillan (2022)
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Abstract

This book explores the implications of agonistic democratic theory for political practice. Fuat Gürsözlü argues that at a time when political parties exacerbate political division, political protesters are characterized as looters and terrorists, and extreme partisanship and authoritarian tendencies are on the rise, the agonistic approach offers a much-needed rethinking of political practice to critically understand challenges to democracy and envision more democratic, inclusive, and peaceful alternatives. Inspired by Chantal Mouffe’s agonistic theory and drawing on insights of other prominent agonistic scholars, Gürsözlü offers a distinctive approach that develops the connections between the agonistic approach and political practice. His main claim is that approaching democratic politics from an agonistic perspective changes the way we understand the nature of democratic society, the place of political protest in democracy, the nature of adversarial engagement, and the democratic function of political parties. The book also advances an account of agonistic peace that is best fitted to the pluralistic and inherently conflictual nature of democratic societies. This book should be of interest to anyone working in the field of contemporary political theory, political philosophy, peace studies, and philosophy of peace.

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Fuat Gürsözlü
Loyola University Maryland

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