Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the 21st Century by Matthew FlindersDefending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the 21st Century by Matthew Flinders

Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the 21st Century

byMatthew Flinders

Paperback | May 7, 2013

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If the twentieth century witnessed the triumph of democracy then something appears to have gone seriously wrong in the twenty-first. Citizens around the world have become distrustful of politicians, sceptical about democratic institutions, and disillusioned about the capacity of democraticpolitics to resolve pressing social concerns. Defending Politics meets this contemporary pessimism about the political process head on. Matthew Flinders makes a highly unfashionable but profoundly important argument of almost primitive simplicity: democratic politics delivers far more than most members of the public appear to acknowledge and understand. If more and more people are disappointed with what modern democratic politicsdelivers, then is it possible that the fault lies with those who demand too much, fail to acknowledge the essence of democratic engagement, and ignore the complexities of governing in the twentieth century, rather than with democratic politics itself? Is it possible that the public in many advancedliberal democracies have become "democratically decadent" in the sense that they take what democratic politics delivers for granted? Would politics be interpreted as failing a little less if we all spent a little less time emphasizing our individual rights and a little more time reflecting on ourresponsibilities to society and future generations? This book provides an honest account of why democratic politics matters and why we need to reject the arguments of those who would turn their backs on "mere politics" in favour of more authoritarian, populist or technocratic forms of governing. In rejecting fashionable fears about the "end ofpolitics" and daring to suggest that the public, the media, pressure groups, academics and politicians are all part of the problem as well as part of the cure, it provides a fresh, provocative, and above all optimistic view of the achievements and future potential of democratic politics.
Matthew Flinders is Professor of Parliamentary Government and Governance at the University of Sheffield. His book Delegated Governance and the British State (Oxford University Press, 2008) was awarded the W.J.M. Mackenzie Prize 2009 for the best book in political science published that year. Since then he has acted as an advisor to th...
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Title:Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the 21st CenturyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.03 inPublished:May 7, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019966904X

ISBN - 13:9780199669042

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Table of Contents

ForewordPreface1. The Nature of Political Rule in the Twenty-First Century2. A Defence of Politics Against Itself3. A Defence of Politics Against the Market4. A Defence of Politics Against Denial5. A Defence of Politics Against Crises6. A Defence of Politics Against the Media7. In Praise of Politics8. More Food for ThoughtIndex

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "A lecture worth reading, from a rather lonely voice... I strongly urge you to make a cup of tea, put your feet up, and scroll through... [Flinders] makes some very good points indeed, and not only when he is quoting me in support of his argument." --Alastair Campbell blog on the lecture on which the book is based