Political Participation in the Post-Democratic Era: Promises, Challenges, Illusions
Тезисы до: 15.02.2015
Даты: 18.06.15 — 20.06.15
Область наук: Политология;
Е-мейл Оргкомитета: email@example.com
Организаторы: Netherlands American Studies Association and the University of Oldenburg
If the recent mid-term elections have told us anything, it is that participatory democracy in the United States is definitely on the wane. With a record estimate of $4 billion in campaign spending, big money was undeniably the ultimate winner in the latest Congressional race. And with roughly $1 billion of the total spending coming from “dark money” super PACs, the Daily Show sarcastically dubbed its coverage of the midterms, “Democalypse 2014: America remembers it forgot to vote.” Unsurprisingly, since money undeniably loves money, the DOW and S&P 500 closed at record highs the day after the midterms. The techno-demographic appeal of Obama’s first presidential campaign appears to have been a one-off, and the Occupy Wall Street movement seems only a faint memory now. Clearly, rumors of neo-liberalism’s demise have been grossly exaggerated.
So what does this teach us about the potential of social change in the post-democratic era and the future of peaceful global revolution? With democracy a fleeting illusion in Africa, the Middle East, much of Asia and Russia, and a European Union increasingly out of touch with its apathetic citizens, will the United States once more assume its former role as leader of the free world and ambassador of citizens’ rights? In the face of a growing income gap, a drop in social mobility and the increasing unaffordability of higher education, do we see signs of voters seeking ways to participate more actively in public debates? Is the much-touted democratization effect of social media technology really bearing fruit? If so, are these techno-networked voter-activists joining advocacy groups for specific interests? In an age of globalization, supranational unions, and the concomitant phenomena of immaterial labor and other forms of social alienation, what is the state of in times of increasing disbelief in institutionalized political participation (through voting, e.g.).
In order to discuss these (and related) issues, we invite participants in this conference to address alternative ways in which citizens have been claiming/reclaiming their place in political decision-making—in the United States, as well as in the wider American hemisphere, or, comparatively, in other parts in the world. Collectively, we want to explore these developments in political participation as harbingers of the emergence of a post-post-democracy.
We invite proposals for individual 20-minute-presentations or complete panels. Proposals for individual papers should consist of an abstract (max. 250 words) and a short CV. Proposals for panels should provide a brief explanation of the goals of the panel and its link to the conference theme (500 words), accompanied by 250-word abstracts and brief CVs of all speakers. Proposals for alternative presentation formats (e.g. roundtables, impulse-sessions, interviews, performances, or other innovative formats) are also welcome.
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