Emmanuelle Avril, Professor in British Politics and Society at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, has just edited a new book along with Johann Neem, Associate Professor of History at Western Washington University, called Democracy, Participation and Contestation : Civil Society, Governance and the Future of Liberal Democracy.
The establishment of democracy on both sides of the Atlantic has not been a smooth evolution towards an idealized presumed endpoint. Far from it, democratization has been marked by setbacks and victories, a process often referred to as ‘contested democracy’. In view of recent mobilizations such as the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, in which new technologies have played a key role, there is a need for a renewed analysis of the long-term evolution of US and UK political systems.
Using new areas of research, this book argues that the ideals and the practices of Anglo-American democracy can be best understood by studying diverse forms of participation, which go beyond classical expressions of contestation and dissent such as voting. The authors analyze political parties, social movements, communications and social media, governance, cultural diversity, identity politics, public-private actors and social cohesion to illustrate how the structure and context of popular participation play a significant role in whether, and when, citizens´ efforts have any meaningful impact on those who exercise political power. In doing so, the authors take crucial steps towards understanding how a vigorous public sphere and popular sovereignty can be made to work in today’s global environment.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, British and US history, democracy, political participation, governance, social movements and politics.
Introduction: “Contested Democracy”: A critical evaluation – Emmanuelle Avril & Johann Neem
Part I Contested Definitions of Democracy
Chapter 1: Rethinking 1828: The Emergence of Competing Democracies in the United States – Reeve Huston
Chapter 2: Some Ideological Aspects of the ‘Battle of Cable Street’ – Christos Efstathiou
Chapter 3: Democracy inc. and Radical Criticism in the US – Pierre Guerlain
Chapter 4: Is Equality the Goal?: Challenging Economic Inequality in the US and UK – Scot T. Fitzgerald
Part II Who Participates? Political Inclusion and Exclusion
Chapter 5: Democracy: America’s Other “Peculiar Institution” – Andrew W. Robertson
Chapter 6: Undocumented Immigrants, From Pariahs to Citizens? Mobilizations and Arguments in Favor of Inclusion – James Cohen
Chapter 7: Productive Protest? The contested higher education reforms in England under the Coalition Government – Sarah Pickard
Chapter 8: A Tale of Polarizations: Stress, Inertia and Social Change in the New Gilded Age – Jean-Baptiste Velut
Part III Governance and the Management of Democratic Processes
Chapter 9: Public Participation, Planning and Housing: a Changing Balance of Power? – David Fée
Chapter 10: The English Regions since 1994: Decentralization and the Contested Terrain of Territorial Governance – Houari Mired
Chapter 11: The European Citizens’ Initiative: the Influence of Anglo-American Governance Ideology on Recent EU Institutional Reforms – Coralie Raffenne
Chapter 12: Channeling Indigenous Contestation of Uranium Mining in Australia: Legislation, Negotiation, Co-optation – Sandrine Tolazzi
Chapter 13: Partners not protesters? Managing Contests to Traditional Democracy through Expanded Public Input into Political Decision-making – Jennifer Lees-Marshment
Part IV A Changing Public Sphere. New Spaces and New Tools.
Chapter 14: Contested Boundaries of Representation: Patterns of Transformation in Black Petitioning in Massachusetts, 1770-1850 – Daniel Carpenter and Nicole Topich
Chapter 15: Social networks and Democracy: Fightbacks and Backlashes in the World Wide Agora – Emmanuelle Avril
Chapter 16: Local Democracy and Public Spaces in Contest: Graffiti in San Francisco – Guillaume Marche
Chapter 17: A Faux-Public Sphere: Liberty Mutual Markets an Online Conversation Economy for Citizen-Consumers – Sheena Raja
Chapter 18: Social Media and Political Activism: Breaking the Offline and Online Division – Cristiana Olcese
Concluding remarks: Does Democracy Have a Future? – Gary GerstleTweet