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Fundación Santillana Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes

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The Malaise of Democracy

Víctor Pérez-Díaz

 Liberal democracy has a beautiful history, repeated in all languages: a history of freedom and progress, of infinite challenges to overcome and of individuals, groups and whole societies aspiring to a better world.

 This common rhetoric of a "brilliant future" doesn't fit with the here and now of disorganized, disoriented political communities with ideological and partisan divisions that only seem to intensify with time, and a state of noise and confusion that threatens to break them into a thousand pieces. Why does this world we characterize as democratic and liberal suffer from this bipolar disorder,swinging from self-complacency to exasperation?

 In this incisive and provocative essay, Víctor Pérez-Díaz explores the generalized malaise in liberal democracies and warns of the need to find out if, in this current moment of disorder, these societies are sufficiently prepared to face their representative and existential problems, and seeks out the root of their difficulties in doing so.

Translated by Julie Scales

Book Details

Title:
El malestar de la Democracia (2008)
Author:
Víctor Pérez-Díaz
Publisher:
Crítica
ISBN:
978-84-8432-986-2

Authors > Víctor Pérez-Díaz

Víctor Pérez-Díaz

(Madrid, Spain, 1938). He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and has taught Political Science at Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Diego, and the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris. He has been a fellow at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and Directeur d'Études Associé at the École des Hautes Études in Paris. He is currently the Sociology Chair at the Complutense University of Madrid, head of the Analistas Socio-Políticos Gabinete de Estudios, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Europea.

Articles by the same author

The European Civic Deficit

There is much work to be done in building a politically active Europe before this becomes a true, ipso jure reality. In this work, Víctor Pérez Díaz carries out a critical reflection on the lack of European political culture and active citizenship, highlighting the limited understanding most have of the European city as an order of freedom and the civic duties of its citizens.

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