The global public and its problems: a Deweyan examination of global democratic theory
Narayan, John Christopher (2013) The global public and its problems: a Deweyan examination of global democratic theory. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War there has been a new radicalism across the social sciences espousing the need for global democracy. Taking its inspiration from theorisations of late 20th and early 21st century globalisation, advocates of Global Democratic Theory (GOT) look to transcend the violence, inequality and suffering that have often accompanied modernity. GOT thus offers normative visions and practical steps towards securing global citizenship and democracy, which would secure economic and social justice for all citizens of the world. The thesis proposes that GOT, due to its pursuit of its normative agenda, actually tells us very little about the current state of global politics. In order to move beyond the limitations of GOT, the thesis provides both theoretical and empirical advances. On the theoretical side, the thesis outlines how John Dewey's work in The Public and its Problems (1927) sets out an evolutionary form of democracy in response to a rapidly globalising economy. This Deweyan approach to global democracy and the lessons it provides has not been fully appreciated by contemporary scholars of globalisation. On the empirical side, Deweyan insights are used to interpret and explain the politics of the 'Financial Crisis' of 2008 and subsequent 'The Great Recession' in order to provide a richer account of the current state of global politics and the possibility of global democracy. In all, the thesis demonstrates how Dewey's work serves not only as a timely rejoinder to the theories of GOT but also offers important insights into the politics of contemporary globalisation.
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