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The Politics of Civic Agency

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Abstract:

Harry C. Boyte argues that both the Occupy movement and the Tea Party movement, despite their obvious differences, express aspirations for civic agency, which are widespread around the world, and which confound conventional political categories. Both are animated by the conviction that citizens must be at the centre of democracy. Yet both also have limits, defining the world as a Manichean struggle between good and evil in ways that vastly oversimplify the challenge of democratization and that ignore insights of the other camp. The author advocates for a civic agency politics, which teaches skills of work across partisan and other divisions, incorporates insights of both camps, and aims at democratizing the cultural and institutional life of modern societies.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/dev.2012.2

Publication date: 2012-06-11

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