Is Democracy in Crisis? Radicalizing Democracy for the Neoliberal Present

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Political Science

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Is Democracy in Crisis?
Spring 2023
Taught By: Forrest Deacon
Section: A

CRN: 13279

Credits: 4

Many scholars argue that, at least since the 1970s, democracy has been in crisis. Voting, public participation, and other quintessential forms of liberal, democratic politics have sharply declined, leading many analysts to suggest that democracy has become hollowed, co-opted by economic elites to maintain the status quo—albeit with popular legitimation. This course investigates the nature of these claims, maintaining that the only democracy in crisis is that of (neo)liberal democracy. As such, this course proposes an alternative conception of democracy for the contemporary conjuncture of neoliberal capitalism: radical democracy. To this end, this course will develop in three parts. In the first, it scrutinizes arguments of democracy’s crisis. In the second, it develops a definition of neoliberalism and examines its effect on democracy. In the last, it reconceptualizes democracy as a radical, egalitarian project that can combat the effects neoliberalism has had politics. Readings will include thinkers like Cornelius Castoriadis, Nicos Poulantzas, Jacques Rancière, Chantal Mouffe, Wendy Brown, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Frantz Fanon, Samuel Huntington, Friedrich von Hayek, and many others. The course will also draw from historical and empirical examples of radical democracy, such as the Paris Commune of 1871, post-colonial self-determination movements, workers' councils, and others. Throughout the course, students will develop close-reading and annotation techniques, command of evidence and writing practices, and critical thinking and discussion skills.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Political Science (LPOL)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:44am EDT 9/29/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 1107
Date Range: 1/23/2023 - 5/15/2023