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Crossbenching: Toward Participation as Critical Spatial Practice
Markus Miessen
2016

“Miessen’s new book depicts in a challenging and projective manner the problem of politics in times of conceptual indeterminacy, where ‘participation’ of the civil society seems to become the salvation for the political mess we are in, especially in Europe. Well, it is not! ‘Participation’ will not eradicate the Front National, and more transparency will not deprive Orbán of his power. Civil society will not gain power by criticizing or demonstrating loudly against the European system or chatting on the Internet. The populists have understood that if you want power, you need parties. What we risk to lose in that participatory game is representative democracy in its current shape and for no good: the majority of the street is no democracy. The post-structuralist hype for participation fuels into the mills of those who want to play la volonté de tous against la volonté generale, to go back to Rousseau: yet, the plebs killed Socrates in Athens.”
—Ulrike Guérot, political scientist, founder and director, European Democracy Lab, Berlin

Crossbenching here