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Democracy Disrupted

The Politics of Global Protest

By Ivan Krastev

Publication Year: 2014

Since the financial meltdown of 2008, political protests have spread around the world like chain lightning, from the "Occupy" movements of the United States, Great Britain, and Spain to more destabilizing forms of unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Ukraine. In Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, journalist and political scientist Ivan Krastev proposes a provocative interpretation of these popular uprisings—one with ominous implications for the future of democratic politics.

Challenging theories that trace the protests to the rise of a global middle class, Krastev proposes that the insurrections express a pervasive distrust of democratic institutions. Protesters on the streets of Moscow, Sofia, Istanbul, and São Paulo are openly suspicious of both the market and the state. They reject established political parties, question the motives of the mainstream media, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any specific leadership, and reject all formal organizations. They have made clear what they don't want—the status quo—but they have no positive vision of an alternative future.

Welcome to the worldwide libertarian revolution, in which democracy is endlessly disrupted to no end beyond the disruption itself.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-ii


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pp. iii-iv

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pp. 1-6

The European revolutions of 1848 ended on December 2, 1851, when tragedy repeated itself as a farce and Louis Napoleon Bonaparte guillotined the Second French Republic by means of a coup. In the days and weeks during which this last act of the revolutionary drama was unfolding before the eyes of the world, five of the greatest...

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Chapter 1: Protest against Politics

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pp. 7-32

“What is going on?” asked radical French philosopher Alan Badiou two years ago. “Of what are we half-fascinated, half-devastated witnesses? The continuation, at all costs, of a weary world? A salutary crisis of that world . . . ? The end of that world? The advent of a different world?”1...

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Chapter 2: The Democracy of Rejection

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pp. 33-62

In The Watcher, one of Italo Calvino’s early novels, the great writer spins a tale of an election suffused with madness, passion, and reason. The protagonist, Amerigo Ormea, an unmarried leftist intellectual, agrees to be an election monitor in Turin’s famous Cottolengo Hospital ...

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Chapter 3: Exit Politics

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pp. 63-78

Inspired by the East Germans’ triumph over communism by leaving rather than fighting, several West German anarchists in 1990 designed a monument, Unknown Deserters, commemorating those who perished in both world wars: “This is for the man who refused to kill his ...

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pp. 79-80

The origins of small books—like the origins of mass protests—are always veiled in mystery. They are spontaneous and leaderless. They are born of collective emotions and collective experiences, so allow me to express my gratitude to those who took to the streets of Sofia on...


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pp. 81-84

E-ISBN-13: 9780812290745
E-ISBN-10: 0812290747
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812223309

Page Count: 98
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 883820172
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Democracy Disrupted