Democracy and the Political Unconscious

Cambridge University Press (2008)
Authors
Noelle Claire McAfee
Emory University
Abstract
Political philosopher Noelle McAfee proposes a powerful new political theory for our post-9/11 world, in which an old pathology-the repetition compulsion-has manifested itself in a seemingly endless war on terror. McAfee argues that the quintessentially human desire to participate in a world with others is the key to understanding the public sphere and to creating a more democratic society, a world that all members can have a hand in shaping. But when some are effectively denied this participation, whether through trauma or terror, instead of democratic politics, there arises a political unconscious, an effect of desires unarticulated, failures to sublimate, voices kept silent, and repression reenacted. Not only is this condition undemocratic and unjust, it may lead to further trauma. Unless its troubles are worked through, a political community risks continual repetition and even self-destruction. McAfee deftly weaves together her experience as an observer of democratic life with an array of intellectual schemas, from poststructural psychoanalysis to Rawlsian and Habermasian democratic theories, as well as semiotics, civic republicanism, and American pragmatism. She begins with an analysis of the traumatic effects of silencing members of a political community. Then she explores the potential of deliberative dialogue and other "talking cures" and public testimonies, such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help societies work through, rather than continually act out, their conflicts. _Democracy and the Political Unconscious_ is rich in theoretical insights, but it is also grounded in the practical problems of those who are trying to process the traumas of oppression, terror, and brutality and create more decent and democratic societies. Drawing on a breathtaking range of theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, _Democracy and the Political Unconscious_ charts a course for democratic transformation in a world sorely lacking in democratic practice
Keywords Democratization  Deliberative democracy  Political science Philosophy  Political psychology  Critical theory  Feminism Political aspects
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $47.41 used (21% off)   $51.49 new (15% off)   $60.00 direct from Amazon    Amazon page
Call number JC423.M38334 2008
ISBN(s) 9780231138802   0231138806   0231511124   9780231511124
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 37,153
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Democracy and the Political Unconscious (Review).Gregory M. Fahey - 2011 - Education and Culture 27 (1):65-68.
Problems of the Structure and Hierarchy of Democratic Values.Alexander S. Madatov - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:445-449.
Political Equality in a Democracy.Yossi Dahan - 1989 - Dissertation, Columbia University
Towards an African Theory of Democracy.A. K. Fayemi - 2009 - Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya 1 (1):101-126.
Agonism in Divided Societies.Andrew Schaap - 2006 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (2):255-277.
Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism?Chantal Mouffe - 1999 - Social Research 66 (3):745-758.
The Uncanny Proximity: From Democracy To Terror.Farhang Erfani - 2002 - Florida Philosophical Review 2 (2):5-22.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
34 ( #194,456 of 2,308,602 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #447,376 of 2,308,602 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature