Democracy and Violence

Adrian Little

in Democratic Piety

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780748633654
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652709 | DOI:
Democracy and Violence

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The main problem with an analysis which seeks to maintain belief in the universal applicability of democracy by deepening people’s appreciation of shared human values is that it rests on an underlying assumption that politics – in particular, democratic politics – can be qualitatively affected by increased awareness of vulnerability and the powers of mourning. This kind of narrative reflects on the violence perpetrated by democracies in the world today but fails to identify the historical precedents for it. This chapter suggests that this approach is dangerously flawed. It demonstrates the impact of democratic piety on some of the more radical theories of democracy and the difficulties that some commentators have had in critically analysing democracy in an environment in which it has become sacrosanct.

Keywords: democratic politics; mourning; vulnerability; violence; democratic piety

Chapter.  11412 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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