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Workshop: Vernacular Democracy

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Nils Bubandt - Arrangør

  • Afdeling for Antropologi og Etnografi
The workshop is part of the international conference MatchPoints: Challenging Democracy As We Know It held at Aarhus Universitet 12-14 May 2011 Vernacular democracy: Ethnographic approaches to the global appeal of the rule of the people Democracy is the ‘big idea’ of the contemporary moment, part of a ‘fourth wave’ of democratization of the world. Democracy, in that sense, has long since left social theory and become a vernacular term and a form of vernacular political practice. What might these varieties of democracy tell us about where democracy is going globally? This workshop invites presentations that look at the variety of ways in which democracy is understood, discussed, practiced, and contested globally. Democracy is, as Derrida has suggested, always deferred, always somewhere off in the future. Always ‘in the future’, democracy is therefore in constant need of improvement, perfection, and elaboration. The contemporary turn to deliberative democracy might be described as an example of such an attempt to ‘democratize democracy’ – in this case through a kind of technicalization. Democracy is however ‘altered’ and reformed in numerous other ways in local settings. The workshop invites presentations that provide ethnographic accounts and analysis of such political attempts to ‘perfect’ democracy, to ‘accommodate it’ to local conditions. What kinds of tools go into these attempts to localize or perfect democracy? Sometimes these tools are forms of political technique (participatory forums or consensus conferences); at other times these tools to ‘improve on democracy’ come from religion, tradition, or ‘local values’. The aim of the workshop is to begin a comparative analysis of ‘democracy-to-come’; of the ways in which democracy is being worked on, vernacularized, and ‘hybridized’ within political attempts to improve it.
13 maj 201114 maj 2011


KonferenceWorkshop: Vernacular Democracy

ID: 36240988