Surging Democracy
Notes on Hannah Arendt's Political Thought

By (author) Adriana Cavarero

ISBN13: 9781503627499

Imprint: Stanford University Press

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Format: Hardback

Published: 06/07/2021

Availability: Not yet available

What does a truly democratic experience of political action look like in today's times? Is there still an opportunity-perhaps in moments of dissent and protest-to rediscover that emotion of participation that Hannah Arendt called public happiness, and which might arguably be the basis of a surging democracy? Could we be happy together, not simply as the sum of individual happiness but because the very experience of being and acting with the collective makes us happy? In this provocative new work, Adriana Cavarero weighs in on contemporary debates about the relationship between democracy, happiness, and dissent. Drawing upon Arendt's understanding of politics as a participatory experience, but also discussing texts by Zola, Canetti, Pasternak and Barthes, along with engaging Judith Butler, Cavarero proposes a new view of democracy, based not on violence, but rather the spontaneous experience of a plurality of bodies coming together in public. Expanding upon the themes she brought up in previous works, Cavarero offers a timely intervention into current thinking about the nature of democracy, suggesting that its emergence thrives on the nonviolent creativity of a widespread, participatory and relational power, that is shared horizontally rather than vertically. From digital democracy to selfies to contemporary protest movements, Cavarero argues that we need to rethink our focus on individual happiness and turn toward rediscovering the joyful emotions of birth through plural interaction. Yes, let us be happy, she urges, but let us do so publicly, politically, together.
  • Social & political philosophy
  • Phenomenology & Existentialism
  • Professional & Vocational
List Price: £58.00