The Democratic Imagination: Envisioning Popular Power in the Twenty-First Century
Published: October 2012© 2012
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 224 Pages
Dimensions: 6.05 x 9.00
224 Pages, 6.05 x 9.00 x 0.50 in
Democracy is very much an open question in the early twenty-first century. While voter participation declines in many traditional democracies, new movements for democracy are emerging around the world. This book brings the question of democracy out of the halls of political power and home to our daily lives, pitting "official democracy" and "democracy from below" against one another in a lively debate.
For more information see www.democraticimagination.com.
1. Democracy as an Open Question
2. Political, Social, and Economic Democracy
3. Citizenship and Inequality
4. There and Not There: Representation and Participation
5. Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Democracy, and the State
6. The Power of Knowing
7. Democracy and Body Politics
8. The Struggle Continues
Those who read this book will come away with their own thoughts on official democracy and democracy from below, especially since the authors engage on so many different topics. The goal is to cause readers to think deeply about these issues, and the book does this quite well. It can certainly be integrated into a wide variety of political science and sociology courses, too, because of the effectiveness of the book's overarching frame. American Review of Canadian Studies
Cairns and Sears have written an entertaining and informative popular guide to democracy for the twenty-first century filled with fuel and insight for igniting the democratic imagination.… A must-read for anyone interested in opening their thinking to a wider world of ideas. Elaine Bernard, Harvard University
In a time of history when established democracy is being challenged everywhere by movements in the streets, The Democratic Imagination provides a readable and provocative analysis of the different ideas about democracy fuelling these conflicts. You'll never think about democracy in the same way again. Judy Rebick, activist and author of Occupy This!
By re-opening 'the question of democracy' to those who refuse to limit it to a matter of well-functioning markets and periodic elections, Cairns and Sears prime the democratic imagination for a new era of popular struggle. Nikhil Singh, New York University
A useful supplementary reading that will be genuinely helpful in drawing students new to political science into key debates around what 'real' democracy looks like. David Kahane, University of Alberta