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Defiant Publics. The Unprecedented Reach of the Global Citizen. Edition No. 1. Themes for the 21st Century

  • ID: 2586565
  • Book
  • July 2008
  • Region: Global
  • 160 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Social activism and dissent have become global phenomena for our times. Ordinary people across the world are fighting back. This newly potent political force has defeated governments in India and Spain, and has brought down the EU draft constitution. Disaffected by the triumph of markets, public goods, public interest and public spaces are regaining political ground.

Daniel Drache argues that, feeding off distrust and suspicion of governments, and assisted by the new cultural flows of people, ideas and information, this is a political phenomenon without historical precedent. No-one owns the new public, elites remain baffled by its power and impact. No-one can contain its innovative, inclusive and rapidly evolving organizational style. No-one can determine when the current cycle of dissent will peak.

This lively and engaging book is a must-read for anyone interested in the role of protesters and publics in contemporary politics.

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List of figures vii

Acknowledgements viii

Introduction: Goals and Values that are Inescapably Public 1

1 The Crowded Public Sphere and its Discontents 24

2 Market Fundamentalism and the Worried Public 54

3 Digital Publics and the Culture of Dissent 89

4 Nixers, Fixers, and the Axes of Conformity 115

5 Infinite Varieties of the Modern Public: Novelty, Surprise, and Uncertainty 144

Appendix: Critical Human Rights Conventions of the Global Public Domain 172

A Note on Sources 179

Select Bibliography 184

Index 187

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Daniel Drache Director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and Professor of Political Science at York University, Canada.
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