Chapter

Civil Sphere and Public Drama

JEFFREY C. ALEXANDER

in The Performance of Politics

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199744466
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944163 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744466.003.0002
Civil Sphere and Public Drama

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Political campaigns are centralized battles run by generals, organized by captains, energized by foot soldiers, and disciplined, if possible, in the extreme. In order to gain power in democracy and society, one must win the formal consent of one's fellow citizens. It is these members of the democratic public—the “civil sphere”—who call the shots. As societies became larger, more complex, and more inclusive, this asking gradually took the form of an extended campaign. The struggle for power is democratic insofar as power becomes a privilege that must be campaigned for. One asks the members of the civil sphere to become their representative. In the course of political campaigns, those struggling for power are subject to a terrible scrutiny. This is critical because, once power is achieved, it gains significant independence from civil society.

Keywords: political campaigns; power; democracy; society; consent; citizens; public; civil sphere; independence

Chapter.  4704 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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