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After a lengthy gestation Interrogating Democracy in World Politics is now available from Routledge. The edited volume, which Meera, Laust Schouenborg and myself put together, features a set of critical essays examining the meaning and role of democracy in world politics by top thinkers in the field. We’re obviously very excited to see our names on the front of a book and to continue exploring a topic that began as a special issue (Vol. 37, No. 3) of Millennium: Journal of International Studies back in 2009. For the moment you can preview our introduction to the book on the Routledge website to get a taste of what’s on offer.
We’ll see you there…
It is curious how little countenance radical pluralism has ever had from philosophers. Whether materialistically or spiritualistically minded, philosophers have always aimed at cleaning up the litter with which the world apparently is filled. They have substituted economical and orderly conceptions for the first sensible tangle; and whether these were morally elevated or only intellectually neat they were at any rate always aesthetically pure and definite, and aimed at ascribing to the world something clean and intellectual in the way of inner structure. As compared with all these rationalizing pictures, the pluralistic empiricism which I profess offers but a sorry appearance. It is a turbid, muddled, gothic sort of affair, without a sweeping outline and with little pictorial nobility.
-William James, A Pluralistic Universe (1909)
The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying-glass.
- Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections On A Damaged Life (1951)
Utopias afford consolation: although they have no real locality there is nevertheless a fantastic, untroubled region in which they are able to unfold; they open up cities with vast avenues, superbly planted gardens, countries where life is easy, even though the road to them is chimerical. Heteropias are disturbing, probably because they secretly undermine language, because they make it impossible to name this and that, because they shatter or tangle common names, because they destroy ‘syntax’ in advance, and not only the syntax with which we construct sentences but also that less apparent syntax which causes words and things (next to and also opposite one another) to ‘hold together’.
Michel Foucault, The Order Of Things (1966)
Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in
Leonard Cohen, ‘Anthem’, The Future (1992)
- Pablo, Joe & Meera