Democratic Activism: Between Organizing and Spontaneity

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 15:03
Location: Seminarraum 5C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Mohsen ABBASZADEH MARZBALI, University of Tehran, Iran
According to the Modern paradigm, democracy embodies in constellation of the “institutional regimes”. This constellation refers to the role of “organizational mediator”, between citizens and decision-makers, like parties, interest groups, lobbies, formal media (TV & Radio), and etc. This narrative stems from the empirical tradition of political analysis and positivist perspective of power, politics, and participation. Notwithstanding, this definition has been challenged by a theoretical turn in these concepts since the late 20th century. From this perspective, the present paper sheds light on the roots and dynamics of this post-modern turn with regards to Chantal Mouffe’s post-modern radical politics and Jacques Ranciere’s narrative of the political. Within this framework, the paper tracks down the roots of this theoretical turn with regards to two pivotal themes.

“What impacts have the Post-modern Turn had on the concept of the political representation? How has the post-modern turn been manifested?” These are the central questions that guide the main argument of the paper.

In following, the paper argues that by referring to “Difference” and calling for “Otherness”, the post-modern turn is mainly explained by Radical Democracy that puts emphasis on self-expression manifested in social movements as an activism beyond the limits of “organizational mediation”. These movements should be considered as main embodiment of such a new political representation. Lastly, the present research asserts that the main condition for the realization of democracy is to emphasis on Micro-politics and social movements as life-style. It is a bottom-up democratic action.