An Anthropology of Parliaments

An Anthropology of Parliaments The Everyday Making of Democratic Politics

eBook (22 Apr 2021)

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Synopsis

In the last decade our confidence in democracy, political institutions and elected politicians has been shaken by unprecedented cynicism, volatility, and antagonism. Conventional scholarship is struggling to explain this crisis. This book offers a fresh approach to the scrutiny of Parliament and democratic politics, drawing together ethnographic work by anthropologists and a handful of political scientists from around the world. With a mix of theory and empirical material, Parliaments are portrayed as architecture, as a place of work, a meeting place and the fulcrum of democracy - revealing how elected politicians relate to those they represent. With a sense of history, geography, gender, culture and politics, Parliaments are explored in their rich variety, their common trends, the changes being thrust upon them as well as the continuities they manage to sustain. By analysing ethnographic insights from across Europe, the US, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, the well-worn geo-political categories are transgressed. The US is contrasted with the UK, while parallels are found between France, Israel and Bangladesh. Across the world the work of politicians entails endless shapeshifting and continuities are created by meeting spaces, rhythms, and ideological riffs. The performance of politics requires rituals, mediated communication and a claim of representation. The result is a mess of contradictory and paradoxical processes of alliance and opposition; both consolidation and challenge to power; and confusion about ethics and truth. This new world requires a more complex theory of democratic powers that can take account of global patterns and local specificity. Anthropology is uniquely placed to respond to this need.

About the Publisher

Routledge

Routledge

Routledge is the world's leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences. We publish thousands of books and journals each year, serving scholars, instructors, and professional communities worldwide. Our current publishing programme encompasses groundbreaking textbooks and premier, peer-reviewed research in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Built Environment. We have partnered with many of the most influential societies and academic bodies to publish their journals and book series. Readers can access tens of thousands of print and e-books from our extensive catalogue of titles. Routledge is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.

Book information

ISBN: 9781350089624
Publisher: FU_00
Imprint: Routledge
Pub date:
DEWEY: 321.8
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 224
Weight: -1g