Like many companies, PocketBook uses cookie technology to enhance your user experience, for analytics and marketing purposes that are to show you relevant offers, tailored the best to your interests while running this website and third parties websites. PocketBook respects your privacy rights, thus we kindly ask you to take a moment to enjoy Managing Cookie Preferences. Please take a note that strictly necessary cookies are always enabled. If you are happy with the use of all cookie files, just click Accept all cookies. To learn more about cookie technology, its benefits and how Pocketbook use it, please go to our Cookie Notice.
You can change your cookie settings at any time, using your cookie settings. You can use this page through your account. For more information about cookies and how we use them, please see our cookie notice.
There has been a lively debate amongst political theorists aboutwhether certain liberal concepts of democracy are so idealized thatthey lack relevance to 'real' politics. Echoing thesedebates, Lois McNay examines in this book some theories of radicaldemocracy and argues that they too tend to rely on troublingabstractions - or what she terms 'socially weightless'thinking. They often propose ideas of the political that are so farremoved from the logic of everyday practice that, ultimately, theirsupposed emancipatory potential is thrown into question.
Radical democrats frequently maintain that what distinguishes theirideas of the political from others is the fundamental concern withunmasking and challenging unrecognized forms of inequality anddomination that distort everyday life. But this supposedattentiveness to power is undermined by the invocation of rarefiedmodels of political action that treat agency as an unproblematicgiven and overlook certain features of the embodied experience ofoppression. The tendency of radical democrats to define democraticagency in terms of dynamics of perpetual flux, mobility and agonismpasses over too swiftly the way in which objective structures ofoppression are often taken into the body as subjectivedispositions, leaving individuals with the feeling that they areunable to do little more than endure a state of affairs beyondtheir control.
Drawing on the work of Adorno, Bourdieu and Honneth, amongstothers, McNay argues that in order to make good the critique ofpower, radical democratic theory should attend more closely to aphenomenology of negative social experience and what it can revealabout the social conditions necessary for effective politicalagency.