Next week, I will take part at the Workshops in Political Theory organised by the Metropolitan University of Manchester, UK. This is the abstract I wrote for:
Social Movements, Liberal Republicanism, and the Concept of Politics in the Global Age
Since the end of the Cold War, «contentious politics» had been deeply transformed, affecting the concept of politics itself. As a result of the constituent impulse of the so-called «third wave of democratization», Western democracy expanded worldwide creating the concrete institutional framework for the rising of the «movement’s society». Thus, social movements became increasingly central to the theoretical understanding of politics in the global age. In this context, by means of the new information and communication technologies, the development of the anti-globalization movement’s wave of mobilizations modified also substantially the modular repertoire of non conventional collective action (i.e. movement’s politics itself). As party politics did more than one century ago, movement’s society arise now by restructuring the main features of the whole political system. The concept of politics is to be thought within this new global context. And so are doing nowadays different currents of political theory, from liberalism to socialism, from conservatism to republicanism. In fact, while these transformations take place, liberal republicans try to give a normative answer to the theoretical challenge of democracy’s discontent (for liberal republicanism, social movements are considered as a symptom of the crisis of liberal democracy). In the search for such an answer, liberal republicanism looks for an alternative definition to the concept of politics as formulated in liberal democracies. In this paper we seek to explain in what extent liberal republicanism could provide us with a satisfactory answer (if it can) to the questions enunciated by the social movements in signifying differently the concept of politics. In the aim to evaluate the heuristical potential of liberal republicanism we will look at the globalizing transformations of social movements first, to know which are the empirical features of movement’s society. Then, I will turn to liberal republicanism’s concept of politics and I will evaluate its heuristical potentiality.
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