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Resistance as political participation in the post-political region
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Characterizing features of the Swedish political system, especially at the local and the regional level, are the highly stated ambitions of political participation. In Sweden there have been attempts to increase political participation through “democratic innovations”, which indicates pluralism in the forms of political participation. However, there is a vast literature criticizing the lack of a concrete political content, meaning that liberal democracy is unable to offer political conflict dimensions. The content of politics is largely about consolidating a neoliberal model of political governance, thus leading to a state of “post politics” or “post democracy”. An expression for this is the implementation of “new public management” which have implied the marginalization of politics in favour of market solutions. This development has been seen as the hollowing out of democracy since issues of power and conflict, the very essence of politics,  have been marginalized from the political agenda.

With Chantal Mouffe’s (2005) distinction of “the political” and “politics”, it can be claimed that “politics”, in the shape of the institutionalized forms for political practice, put up boundaries for what political issues that are included and excluded on the political agenda. This could stand in contrast with the actual desires of “the political” and puts up boundaries for what kind of political participation that is possible.

Starting with this theoretical framework, the aim of the PhD project is to explore how people (citizens, activists, established politicians, public servants) position themselves against a post-political rationality from a regional perspective. One way of conceptualizing the concept of positioning is to think of it as resistance. The act of resistance is a widely researched subject, but an interest guiding this project is how resistance against a post-political rationality comes to expression from a regional perspective. Some issues of interests include: How do resistance come to expression through spontaneous non-intentional micro-practices in regional organizations? Under what circumstances do resistance destabilize and reproduce post-political rationalities? Can practices of resistance lead to a re-politicization of the regional level?

The interest guiding the PhD project is to study the potentials of resistance to the post-political rationalities as a form of political participation in the regional context. In line with this, a PhD project which emphasizes other forms of political participation can offer an alternative to studies focusing on traditional forms of political participation. Furthermore, the regional focus can hopefully offer an opportunity to study this participation from a city-region perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016. Vol. 87, no 4
Keyword [en]
post-politics, regions, resistance
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42649DOI: 10.3828/tpr.2016.31OAI: diva2:934266
Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Graz, 3-6 April, 2016
Available from: 2016-06-08 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2016-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Scott, David
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