Democracy Disrupted: The Global Politics of Protest

Democracy Disrupted: The Global Politics of Protest

Democracy Disrupted: The Global Politics of Protest

Democracy Disrupted: The Global Politics of Protest


Since the financial meltdown of 2008, political protests have spread around the world like chain lightning, from the "Occupy" movements of the United States, Great Britain, and Spain to more destabilizing forms of unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Ukraine. In Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, commentator and political scientist Ivan Krastev proposes a provocative interpretation of these popular uprisings--one with ominous implications for the future of democratic politics.

Challenging theories that trace the protests to the rise of a global middle class, Krastev proposes that the insurrections express a pervasive distrust of democratic institutions. Protesters on the streets of Moscow, Sofia, Istanbul, and São Paulo are openly suspicious of both the market and the state. They reject established political parties, question the motives of the mainstream media, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any specific leadership, and reject all formal organizations. They have made clear what they don't want--the status quo--but they have no positive vision of an alternative future.

Welcome to the worldwide libertarian revolution, in which democracy is endlessly disrupted to no end beyond the disruption itself.


The European revolutions of 1848 ended on December 2, 1851, when tragedy repeated itself as a farce and Louis Napoleon Bonaparte guillotined the Second French Republic by means of a coup. in the days and weeks during which this last act of the revolutionary drama was unfolding before the eyes of the world, five of the greatest political minds of nineteenth-century Europe ran to their writing desks with the ambition to capture the meaning of the event. They felt they were living in strange times, “when one was never sure, between ordering and eating one’s dinner, whether a revolution might not intervene.” They wanted to explain to the public what had happened and what could be expected next. the five were very different people with very different political ideas and world views. Karl Marx was a communist. Pierre Joseph Proudhon was an anarchist. Victor Hugo, the most popular French poet and writer of his time, was a romantic. and Alexis de Tocqueville and Walter Bagehot were liberals.

As one would expect from analyses written in the heat of the moment and burdened by passions and frustrations, the authors got the characters of the political actors . . .

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