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This chapter takes the form of an interview of Chantal Mouffe by Pablo Ouziel. In the course of thirteen questions and answers, it ranges over the main substance and central features of Mouffe’s complex democratic thought. After exploring the complex theoretical grounding of Mouffe’s engagement with and contribution to democratic theory, it explores the implications of her approach for addressing that current conjuncture, which she calls a post-democracy age. She presents her arguments for a left populist response to dominant forms of right-wing populism and neoliberalism in Europe and diagnoses the role of right populism though the example of Brexit.
Pablo Ouziel offers his reflections on the Workshop and volume. He describes the development of some of the main themes. Next, he presents six distinct types of working relationships among democratic citizens that he first developed in his research with citizens involved in Spain’s 15M movement. Then, he shows the presence of these six ‘joining hands’ relationships in the various chapters. This exercise enables us see how the diverse democratic citizens of each and every chapter can work together in context-specific, integrative relationships of democratic cooperation and contestation. As the chapter illustrates these relationships of democratic “joining hands” or integration are not only possible, but actual, here and now, in the local and global field of democratic diversity. The further growth of these action-coordination relationships has the potential to generate and integrate robust democracies with the capacity to respond to our ecosocial crises and co-create a sustainable, democratic future.
This edited volume argues that democracy is broader and more diverse than the dominant state-centered, modern representative democracies, to which other modes of democracy are either presumed subordinate or ignored. The contributors seek to overcome the standard opposition of democracy from below (participatory) and democracy from above (representative). Rather, they argue that through differently situated participatory and representative practices, citizens and governments can develop democratic ways of cooperating without hegemony and subordination, and that these relationships can be transformative. This work proposes a slow but sure, nonviolent, eco-social and sustainable process of democratic generation and growth with the capacity to critique and transform unjust and ecologically destructive social systems. This volume integrates human-centric democracies into a more mutual, interdependent and sustainable system on earth whereby everyone gains.
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