Democracy is established as a generally uncontested ideal, while regimes inspired by this form of government fall under constant criticism. Hence, the steady erosion of confidence in representatives that has become one of the major political issues of our time. Amidst these challenges, the paradox remains that while citizens are less likely to make the trip to the ballot box, the world is far from entering a phase of general political apathy. Demonstrations and activism abound in the streets, in cities across the globe and on the internet. Pierre Rosanvallon analyses the mechanisms used to register a citizen's expression of confidence or distrust, and then focuses on the role that distrust plays in democracy from both a historical and theoretical perspective. This radical shift in perspective uncovers a series of practices - surveillance, prevention, and judgement - through which society corrects and exerts pressure.
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Cambridge University Press
November 17, 2010
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