Depoliticization and Politics: Pro et Contrais it good for politics?
Depoliticization and as a notion and as a trend has gained increased attention among scholars in the recent years and decades. Individuals, groups, large-scale institutional arrangements, even political regimes and political life in general have been often marked as “depoliticized”. There is no agreement about this term in academic community, as there is no agreement about the consequences of this trend among activists and politicians. Some praise depoliticization as final transcendence of political conflict and transition to purely technical management, others disagree and claim that such things as democracy, political participation and political diversity evaporate together with politics. What is depoliticization, how does it manifest itself, what consequences it has for social and political life? To get some clues about these questions, we Within this class, we will consider the phenomenon of depoliticization. This term has been employed to indicate different tendencies. We will compare philosophical, historical, and sociological approaches to depoliticization.
Session Oneone. Depoliticization in Ppolitical Ttheory.Many contemporary scholars and politicians praise depoliticization as exclusively positive trend. No politics means no disagreement and conflict, no aggressive ideologies, no violence and wars. Ideally, purely rational and technical management should replace passion and affect, utopian projects and collective action. But what if getting rid of disagreement and conflict we also lose something constitutive for democracy, diverse social life and, more generally, human existence? To see the complexity of politics and depoliticization we will consider the ideas of two key thinkers in the field – Hannah Arend and Giorgio Agamben.
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Agamben, Giorgio. (2000). Means Wwithout Eend: Notes on Ppolitics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. The last chapter.
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Agamben, Giorgio. (2004). The Oopen: Man and Aanimal. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Schmitt, Carl (2007). . “The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations” (1929), in C. Schmitt, The Concept of the Political. Expanded Edition, trans. by G. Schwab, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007, pp. 80–96.
Session two. Avoiding Ppolitics: Ddepoliticization as a Pproblem of Eempirical Ssociology.Depoliticization is a very broad trend and highly philosophical notion: one might wonder how the study of these abstract ideas about human existence and democracy and broad trends can meet rigorous methodological demands of empirical science. To provide clues about how depoliticization can work in very concreteparticular social settings and how it can be grasped via toolkit of empirical sociology, we will touch upon some examples of research done in this field.
Eliasoph, Nina (1997). Close to Home: The Work of Avoiding Politics // Theory and Society. 1997. ¹ 26. P. 605—647.
Bennett, Elizabeth, Alissa Cordner, Peter T. Klein, Stephanie Savell and Gianpaolo Baiocchi (2013). G., Cordner A., Bennett E., Klein P., Savell S. Disavowing Politics: Civic Engagement in an Era of Political Skepticism // The American Journal of Sociology. 2013. Vol. 119. P. 518—548.
Clement, Carine (2015)K. Unlikely mobilisations: how ordinary Russian people become involved in collective action // European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, Volume 2, Issue 3-4., 2015
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