We need good politics, not only good politicians

Review of The Good Politician. Folk Theories, Political Interaction, and the Rise of Anti-Politics, by Nick Clarke, Will Jennings, Jonathan Moss, Gerry Stoker. Cambridge University Press. 309 pp. £21.99.

Even by the poised and collected standards of the best Anglo-American political thought, the very title of this book sounds alarming. That is because it investigates an equally alarming—if somehow unsurprising—state of affairs which, in the liberal-democratic West, is looking increasingly like the most complete bankruptcy of representative democratic politics since the Second World War. Continua a leggere “We need good politics, not only good politicians”


L’invenzione della nazione


Non c’è pace tra le solenni pareti del Foreign Office. Come se non bastassero le violente reazioni di Putin alle ultime russofobe esortazioni del titolare degli esteri Boris Johnson a protestare contro l’ambasciata russa a Londra per i bombardamenti in Siria e il governo che rischia una crisi parlamentare su questioni relative al Brexit, ieri il ministero degli esteri britannico ha dovuto perfino misurarsi con una piccata nota dell’ambasciatore italiano Pasquale Terracciano.

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The digital mess we’re in


Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action, by Helen Margetts, Peter John, Scott Hale and Taha Yasseri. Princeton University Press. 304pp. £19.95.

Whenever asked to comment on contemporary events, it’s usually historians, rather than social scientists, who tend to suffer from what one might call an epistemological twitch: they strive to demonstrate that what is happening now has already – mutatis mutandis and with all the specificities of the epoch – happened before. A good part of their intellectual prowess is devoted to uncover this sometimes uncomfortable truth, so effectively camouflaged under the patina of the ‘new’. This has a collateral effect: the 
underlying, unobserved assumption that – whatever the phenomenon being analysed – its deceitful novelty is bound to beach like an agonising whale onto the ever-suspect, ideological shores of ‘it’s always been like this’, or, ‘it happened before’.
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