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The Eyes of the PeopleDemocracy in an Age of Spectatorship$
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Jeffrey Edward Green

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372649.001.0001

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Ocular Democracy

Ocular Democracy

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Ocular Democracy
Source:
The Eyes of the People
Author(s):

Jeffrey Green (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372649.003.0001

This chapter introduces in a preliminary way the main features of a theory of plebiscitary democracy whose elaboration and defense will be the purpose of the succeeding chapters. Section 1.2 argues that, in spite of both moral and intellectual suspicion of spectatorship as a legitimate topic of political study, it is after all possible to pursue democracy from the perspective of the political spectator: that there is such a thing as an ocular model of popular empowerment, and that it is precisely plebiscitary democracy's embrace of this model that makes it an important alternative within political thought. Further, not only is an ocular model of popular empowerment possible, but its pursuit would lead to a meaningfully different account of the types of public goods at stake in the quest for a more democratic society. Plebiscitary democracy is not merely an alternate interpretation of familiar democratic processes, but represents a novel ethical paradigm that would reshape the way the moral meaning of democracy is approached and pursued. Sections 1.3 to 1.6 review the specific intellectual, aesthetic, egalitarian, and solidaristic values that would be realized by a theory of plebiscitary democracy and its ocular paradigm of popular empowerment. Section 1.7 concludes by detailing the overall plan for the book's remaining chapters.

Keywords:   plebiscitary democracy, the People, ocular democracy, political spectator, empowerment

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