Democracy field notes

Democracy field notes

Displaying 1 - 10 of 92 articles

Censored Thoughts on the Fate of Turkish Democracy

Written several days ago, the following thoughts on the unfolding crisis in Turkey began their strange life as a tweet. It read: ‘failed Turkish coup shows that in the age of communicative abundance power…

Capitalism and Democracy [part one]

Let’s begin with a discomforting fact often forgotten in recent years: ‘free market’ capitalism is not necessarily the best friend of democracy. Since the early years of the 19th century, especially during…

Cui Jian’s A Piece of Red Cloth…

‘Few Chinese, myself included, really knew what rock 'n roll was back then. But we knew it was something that gave out energy. It was music with a message.’ ‘I performed at Tiananmen Square in 1989, 15…

The President of Humility

José ‘Pepe’ Mujica may not be a household name beyond the pampas and ocean shores of Uruguay, but his thoughts on power, politics and sobriety, captured in the remarkable video that follows, surely are…

Trump, Trump, Trump…

During recent weeks, as election fever grows more intense, all American democrats have been handed a bouquet of viperous questions: When does public incitement to violence by a candidate for high office…

Are Elections Ruining Democracy?

The Flemish historian and writer David Van Reybrouck has recently triggered a minor sensation in the Low Countries by insisting that Western democracies are suffering so much election fatigue (electoral…

The Arbitrary Detention of Julian Assange

The following field note is a short account of last Friday’s historic ruling by a top United Nations panel that Julian Assange is arbitrarily detained and should be set free, with compensation. It also…