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Constituent Moments

Author: Jason Frank
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822391686
Size: 70.63 MB
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Since the American Revolution, there has been broad cultural consensus that “the people” are the only legitimate ground of public authority in the United States. For just as long, there has been disagreement over who the people are and how they should be represented or institutionally embodied. In Constituent Moments, Jason Frank explores this dilemma of authorization: the grounding of democratic legitimacy in an elusive notion of the people. Frank argues that the people are not a coherent or sanctioned collective. Instead, the people exist as an effect of successful claims to speak on their behalf; the power to speak in their name can be vindicated only retrospectively. The people, and democratic politics more broadly, emerge from the dynamic tension between popular politics and representation. They spring from what Frank calls “constituent moments,” moments when claims to speak in the people’s name are politically felicitous, even though those making such claims break from established rules and procedures for representing popular voice. Elaborating his theory of constituent moments, Frank focuses on specific historical instances when under-authorized individuals or associations seized the mantle of authority, and, by doing so, changed the inherited rules of authorization and produced new spaces and conditions for political representation. He looks at crowd actions such as parades, riots, and protests; the Democratic-Republican Societies of the 1790s; and the writings of Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass. Frank demonstrates that the revolutionary establishment of the people is not a solitary event, but rather a series of micropolitical enactments, small dramas of self-authorization that take place in the informal contexts of crowd actions, political oratory, and literature as well as in the more formal settings of constitutional conventions and political associations.

Was Ist Populismus

Author: Jan-Werner Müller
Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag
ISBN: 3518740857
Size: 20.97 MB
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Wer wird heute nicht alles als Populist bezeichnet: Gegner der Eurorettung, Figuren wie Marine Le Pen, Politiker des Mainstream, die meinen, dem Volk aufs Maul schauen zu müssen. Vielleicht ist ein Populist aber auch einfach nur ein populärer Konkurrent, dessen Programm man nicht mag, wie Ralf Dahrendorf einmal anmerkte? Lässt sich das Phänomen schärfer umreißen und seine Ursachen erklären? Worin besteht der Unterschied zwischen Rechts- und Linkspopulismus? Jan-Werner Müller nimmt aktuelle Entwicklungen zum Ausgangspunkt, um eine Theorie des Populismus zu skizzieren und Populismus letztlich klar von der Demokratie abzugrenzen. Seine Thesen helfen zudem, neue Strategien in der Auseinandersetzung mit Populisten zu entwickeln.

Publius And Political Imagination

Author: Jason Frank
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0742548163
Size: 57.78 MB
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Jason Frank’s Publius and Political Imagination is the first volume of the Modernity and Political Thought series to take as its focus not a single author, but collaboration between political philosophers, in this very special case the collective known by the pseudonym: Publius.

American Enchantment

Author: Michelle Sizemore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190627549
Size: 43.21 MB
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The demise of the monarchy and the bodily absence of a King caused a representational crisis in the early republic, forcing the American people to reconstruct the social symbolic order in a new and unfamiliar way. Social historians have routinely understood the Revolution and the early republic as projects dedicated to and productive of reason, with "the people" as an orderly and sensible collective at odds with the volatile and unthinking crowd. American Enchantment rejects this traditionally held vision of a rational public sphere, arguing that early Americans dealt with the post-monarchical crisis by engaging in "civil mysticism," not systematic discussion and debate. By evaluating a wide range of social and political rituals and literary and cultural discourses, Sizemore shows how "enchantment" becomes a vital mode of enacting the people after the demise of traditional monarchical forms. In works by Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Catharine Sedgwick, and Nathaniel Hawthorne--as well as in Delaware oral histories, accounts of George Washington's inauguration, and Methodist conversion narratives--enchantment is an experience uniquely capable of producing new forms of popular power and social affiliation. Recognizing the role of enchantment in constituting the people overturns some of the most common-sense assumptions in the post-revolutionary world: above all, that the people are not simply a flesh-and-blood substance, but also a mystical force.

A Political Companion To Herman Melville

Author: Jason Frank
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813143888
Size: 28.26 MB
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Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is nevertheless deeply political in its own right. As editor Jason Frank notes in his introduction to A Political Companion to Herman Melville, Melville's writing "strikes a note of dissonance in the pre-established harmonies of the American political tradition." This unique volume explores Melville's politics by surveying the full range of his work -- from Typee (1846) to the posthumously published Billy Budd (1924). The contributors give historical context to Melville's writings and place him in conversation with political and theoretical debates, examining his relationship to transcendentalism and contemporary continental philosophy and addressing his work's relevance to topics such as nineteenth-century imperialism, twentieth-century legal theory, the anti-rent wars of the 1840s, and the civil rights movement. From these analyses emerges a new and challenging portrait of Melville as a political thinker of the first order, one that will establish his importance not only for nineteenth-century American political thought but also for political theory more broadly.


Author: Mischa Suter
Publisher: Konstanz University Press
ISBN: 3835397192
Size: 30.36 MB
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Kapitalismus: Ein Alltag der Schulden. Das Buch von Mischa Suter unternimmt eine historische Ethnographie in die prekäre Ökonomie des 19. Jahrhunderts, indem es den Moment ins Zentrum rückt, in dem Schulden unbezahlbar werden. Der "Rechtstrieb", die rechtlich sanktionierte Eintreibung von Schulden, formte einen Strom aus unzähligen Forderungen, Konflikten und Friktionen, die in ihrer Konkretheit sichtbar gemacht werden. Vor allem anderen sind Schulden ein Kräfteverhältnis, in dem ökonomische Beziehung und moralische Bewertung ineinander fließen. Der Alltag im liberalen Kapitalismus des 19. Jahrhunderts war ein undurchdringliches Geflecht solcher Verhältnisse. Wurden Schulden unbezahlbar, gerieten die von ihnen bestimmten Situationen in eine Schieflage. Die Eintreibung von Schulden war dabei eine basale Technik, die Zwangsvollstreckung ein Recht, das Sachverhalte voneinander abgrenzte, Werte umriss und Verhältnisse neu vermittelte: ein Recht der Wissenspraktiken, das unmittelbar auf die Lebenswelt der Betroffenen durchschlug. Männliche Schuldner riskierten den Verlust ihrer Bürgerrechte, Schuldnerinnen wurden unter Vormundschaft gestellt. So formte das Schuldenrecht Figuren wie den "bürgerlich toten Falliten" oder den formal definierten, einer gesonderten Konkursordnung unterstellten "Kaufmann" aus. Mischa Suters Buch interveniert in die Wissensgeschichte des Ökonomischen ebenso wie in die Debatte zum historischen Kapitalismus: Es ist eine Aufforderung, Konflikt, kollidierende moralische Sichtweisen und epistemische Konfusion als Kern des Kapitalismus.