Power of the powerless : democratic politics from below in an age of distrust
The State of the Union Conference, 2019, Parallel session B1
BALFOUR, Rosa, GRABBE, Heather, KALDOR, Mary, Power of the powerless : democratic politics from below in an age of distrust, The State of the Union Conference, 2019, Parallel session B1 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/67157
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
The panel seeks to present and discuss the various forms democratic participation has taken outside of the established political channels, through bottom-up organised and spontaneous movements. Whether Occupy Wall Street (USA), the Indignados (Spain) or the Gilets Jaunes (France), the at times months-long anti-governmental protests, (Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia) have all called into question the legitimacy of political “elites” and the enshrined ways of democratic politics. The nobility of the political vocation has withered dramatically. This is an age in which a variety of forms of democratic regression, “soft despotism” (Tocqueville), authoritarian patterns of leadership are appearing and apolitical or anti-political features are rearing their heads. Distrust in elites, political leaders and mainstream parties has given rise to bottom-up political currents that are the voice of the angry, disaffected citizens who feel a sense of disenfranchisement and powerlessness. Different alternative bottom-up forms of vivere civile (Machiavelli), and civic political engagement are manifesting themselves. What have these civic-political movements and voices brought to democracy at the beginning of the century? What are the ideas for a re-legitimisation of democracy and European politics that are emerging in the 21st century on the continent?
This contribution was delivered on the occasion of the EUI State of the Union in Florence on 02 May 2019
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/67157
External link: https://youtu.be/b7TBC1B4rCk
Series/Number: The State of the Union Conference; 2019; Parallel session B1
Publisher: European University Institute
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