Session 1

Fredrik Krohn Andersson / Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University
Jeff Werner / Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University

Post democratic culture and culture in Post democracy

Arguably, we are living in a Post-democratic era. Of course, characterizations of that we have entered a new era abound. Economization, marketization, entrepreneurialization, and not the least, globalization. At the heart of these changes lies a radical reconceptualization of the social and the political. The current condition could pertinently be described as Post-democracy, and has been discussed by e.g. Jacques Rancière and Chantal Mouffe.

Also Colin Crouch (2004) has suggested that several of these circumstances could be described and rethought through the concept of Post-democracy, which would then indicate a society we are currently not living in but moving towards. According to Crouch, “[a] post-democratic society is one that continues to have and to use all the institutions of democracy, but in which they increasingly become a formal shell. The energy and innovative drive pass away from the democratic arena and into small circles of a politico-economic elite.” As a concept Post-democracy is associated, but not synonymous, with neoliberal rationalities and modes of governing. In one way it signals a return to a pre-welfarist classical 19th century liberal situation but as the suffix post implies it is not identical to this situation. Post-democracy indicates a renegotiation of governing, of representation and of participation, of what it means to be both subject and citizen in this new condition.

This session focuses on the impact of post-democracy on culture, and the effect of culture on post-democracy. It raises questions such as:

  • How is post-democracy manifested and culturally materialised?
  • Can we trace the origins?
  • We welcome papers that for example discuss art and culture as both expressions as well as indexes of post-democracy but also as forms of counter acts or resistance.
  • Interesting are also notions of post-democracy in cultural politics and in the public discourse on the role of culture in society.