An Essay on Social Movements and Democracy
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Recently much of the Left has shifted emphasis away from issues of class, toward "democracy." Indeed, democracy is now emerging as an overarching label for the goals of anti-globalization activists. What is the relationship between such social movements and democracy? In Emergent Publics, Ian Angus wrests the concept of democracy away from the notion that the citizen's only real activity is voting, and argues for a radical and participatory model. This short and accessible book looks back to the roots of democratic institutions, showing how they originated in social movements and the new forms of communication and interaction within those movements.
For such a compact book, Angus is amazingly able to address what full courses in democratic theory, social change, and political sociology are rarely able to address--the importance of creativity and individual and collective activity in the development of democracies. Because of this, I think that if there is one book that should be seen in the pockets of people in the streets, it is Emergent Publics. -- Scott Schaffer, Bad Subjects