Populism, Resentment, and the Struggle for Recognition
(Cambridge University Press, 2023)
"Democratic Respect" is about how democracy should recognize the people. The debate over the meaning and value of populism is essentially a debate over this question. Populism promises to provide the people the recognition that they deserve. We should not understand populist resentment as blindly emotional but as a struggle for recognition based on moral experiences that can be explained by people’s beliefs. By adopting a participant attitude and associating populist resentment with alleged violations of democratic principles, we can discuss what citizens and governments owe one another in terms of recognition and respect. Not all struggles for recognition contribute to the deepening of democracy, and we must distinguish between different kinds of recognition in order to understand why populism is often a threat to what this book calls democratic respect. How democracy should recognize the people relates to debates over the meaning and value of democratic procedures, rights, majority rule, compromise, and public deliberation. The book disputes the widespread assumption that populism is essentially democratic and only against liberal constraints on majority rule. The shortcoming of populism is not that its understanding of democracy lacks substantive constraints, but that it fails to appreciate the procedural value of democracy.
The book includes discussions of Jürgen Habermas, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and John Rawls.
Introduction: Recognition of the People [Excerpt, pdf]
1. Recognition and the Politics of Resentment
2. Respect, Esteem, and Solidarity
3. Rights and the Populist Claim for Recognition
4. Procedures, Outcomes, or Identification?
5. Respecting Disagreement
6. Publicity and Correcting Democracy
Christian F. Rostbøll is Professor of Political Theory at University of Copenhagen. He is author of "Deliberative Freedom. Deliberative Democracy as Critical Theory" (SUNY Press, 2008).
20% discount on this book: Enter the code DCR2023 at www.cambridge.org/9781009340878.