Enthusiasm has long been perceived as a fundamental danger to democratic politics. Many have regarded it as a source of threatening instabilities manifest through political irrationalism. Such a view can make enthusiasm appear as a direct threat to the reason and order on which democracy is thought to rely. But such a desire for a sober and moderate democratic politics is perilously misleading, ignoring the emotional basis on which democracy thrives. Enthusiasm in democracy works to help political actors identify and foster progressive changes. We feel enthusiasm at precisely those moments of new beginnings, when politics takes on new shapes and novel structures. Being clear about how we experience enthusiasm, and how we recognize it, is thus crucial for democracy, which depends on progression and the alteration of ruler and the ruled. This book traces the changing ways enthusiasm has been understood politically in modern Western political thought. It explores how political actors use enthusiasm to motivate allegiances, how we have come to think on the dangers of enthusiasm in democratic politics, and how else we might think about enthusiasm today. From its inception, democracy has relied on a constant affective energy of renewal. By tracing the way this crucial emotional energy is made manifest in political actions – from ancient times to the present – this book sheds light on the way enthusiasm has been understood by political scientists, philosophers, and political activists, as well as its implications for contemporary democratic politics.
matter, but by focusing on the very
materiality of the historical event and its after effects, they in turn
produce and create new intersections among time, space and matter’.45
She reminds us of JacquesRancière’s notion of ‘a suitable political
work of art’, one that works by ‘disrupting the relationship between
the visible, the sayable, and the thinkable’.46 The film, then, doesn’t
just show us evidence and present information, as other forms of
documentary do. Instead, it induces new ways of seeing, and as such,
can be seen as a politics, in Rancière’s terms.
‘structure of feeling’ ( 1961 : 63). To flesh this out, our first task is to construct a compelling and suitably nuanced concept of democracy.
To advance my argument, therefore, in this chapter I will draw on the political theory of Ernesto Laclau, JacquesRancière and Chantal Mouffe. In conjunction, these thinkers mount a consistent and cogent challenge to the hegemonic liberal view of democracy as a procedural set of norms pertaining to the internationally recognized ‘rule of law’. The work of Jürgen Habermas is foundational in constructing and advancing this
capacity to disagree’.33 In many ways this breakdown helps us to
define the political itself, with the contrast between disagreement and agreement
operating almost as an axis around which politics can rotate. Indeed, as JacquesRancière has argued, politics is an entity that hinges upon such a distinction – the
difference between what he terms ‘dissensus’ and ‘consensus’.34 On the one
hand, a politics based on ‘consensus’ is a vacuous enterprise, in which ‘there is
no contest on what appears [or] on what is given in a situation and as a situation’;
on the other hand
Modernity ( Stanford
University Press , 1993 ).
For an account of the pathologies of secularism regarding political
engagement, see William
Connolly , Why I Am Not a Secularist ( University of Minnesota Press , 1999 ).
I use JacquesRancière’s Hatred
Refiguring childhood stages a series of encounters with biosocial power, which is a specific zone of intensity within the more encompassing arena of biopower and biopolitics. Assembled at the intersection of thought and practice, biosocial power attempts to bring envisioned futures into the present, taking hold of life in the form of childhood, thereby bridging being and becoming while also shaping the power relations that encapsulate the social and cultural world(s) of adults and children. Taking up a critical perspective which is attentive to the contingency of childhoods – the ways in which particular childhoods are constituted and configured – the method used in the book is a transversal genealogy that moves between past and present while also crossing a series of discourses and practices framed by children’s rights (the right to play), citizenship, health, disadvantage and entrepreneurship education. The overarching analysis converges on contemporary neoliberal enterprise culture, which is approached as a conjuncture that helps to explain, and also to trouble, the growing emphasis on the agency and rights of children. It is against the backdrop of this problematic that the book makes its case for refiguring childhood. Focusing on the how, where and when of biosocial power, Refiguring childhood will appeal to researchers and students interested in examining the relationship between power and childhood through the lens of social and political theory, sociology, cultural studies, history and geography.
: Persons and Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press, 2011.
15 Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks. Translated by Charles Lam
Markmann. London: Pluto, 1986: 109.
16 Stultification is JacquesRancière’s term: JacquesRancière, The Ignorant
Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. Translated by
Kristin Ross. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991.
EDKINS 9781526119032 PRINT.indd 11
In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.
remind us that, for moral perfectionism, the act of interpreting is
prioritized over the interpretation. By, then, reading this claim
alongside the work of JacquesRancière, I will emphasize his
claim that spectators are always already engaged in such
interpretation, but too often do not trust the legitimacy or
authority of their own interpretation over that of others
systems and the
general decline of the ideological apparatus of Marxism, far from seeing the
promised universal reign of a liberal utopia we instead saw the uncanny return
of ethnic violence, virulent nationalism and religious conservatism. As JacquesRancière says: ‘The territory of “posthistorical” and peaceful humanity proved
to be the territory of new figures of the Inhuman.’17 These forces have been
intensified and invigorated by September 11. What we are seeing today is a
global proliferation of religious fundamentalism – of both the Islamic and