By John R. Parkinson
In a web, interconnected international, democracy is more and more made of wikis and blogs, pokes and tweets. electorate became unintentional reporters because of their hand-held units, politicians are more and more operating on-line, and the conventional websites of democracy--assemblies, public galleries, and plazas--are changing into much less and not more correct with each new expertise. And but, Democracy and Public Space argues, such perspectives are major us to confuse the medium with the message, concentrating on digital transmission whilst usually what cyber electorate transmit is images and narratives of actual democratic motion in actual house. Democratic voters are embodied, absorb house, conflict over entry to actual assets, and practice democracy on actual phases a minimum of up to they interact with rules in digital area.
Combining conceptual research with interviews and remark in capital towns on each continent, John Parkinson argues that democracy calls for actual public area, that a few sorts of house are higher for doing some democratic roles than others, and that probably the most precious different types of house are below assault in constructed democracies. He argues that unintended publics like consumers and lunchtime crowds are more and more valued over purposive, energetic publics, over electorate with some extent to make or a controversy to hear. this is noticeable not only within the method that conventional protest is regulated, yet within the ways in which traditional urban streets and parks are controlled, even within the layout of such quintessentially democratic areas as legislative assemblies. Democracy and Public Space deals an alternate imaginative and prescient for democratic public area, and evaluates eleven cities--from London to Tokyo--against that perfect.
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Additional resources for Democracy and Public Space: The Physical Sites of Democratic Performance
The case analysis then begins with two chapters examining how legislative assemblies function as public space. Chapter ﬁve focuses on assemblies as stages for the performance of democratic roles: ﬁrst as symbolic statements of national identity (narration); second as stages for the performance of grand national rituals; and third as sites for deliberation and decision-making. Along the way, I engage further with arguments about the alleged behavioural effects of assembly buildings, and while some of these claims are clearly nonsense, buildings and their interiors nonetheless send behavioural cues because of the symbolic associations that have built up around certain formats and layouts in particular contexts.
This provides some logic to what would otherwise be a puzzling feature of British democracy: the unelected nature of the upper house (Parkinson, 2007a). Putting aside historical explanations of how the situation came about, it is normatively most puzzling when seen in isolation; when considered from the perspective of roles in a democratic system, it makes a great deal more sense, although that is certainly not to say that the British arrangements need no improving. The point is that while 38 Democratic Theory, Democratic Performance roles and actors have many linkages – it would not do to have too young an actor playing the ‘four score and upward’ King Lear, and it would not do to have a government crony playing the role of Chief Justice – that still leaves a great deal of room for creativity and local tradition in assigning democratic roles to individuals and institutions, and some room for doubling up the roles assigned.
Recent, accessible discussions of the subject matter of politics are Leftwich (2004) and Stoker (2006). 25 Democracy and Public Space is shattered. Other theorists have a broader account of how such conﬂicts arise, but all implicitly or explicitly agree that democracy is about sorting out common issues without dictatorship, domination, or shooting at each other (Przeworski, 1999). The key point to note is that this political deﬁnition of democracy has an important point of contact with urban theory, and an important point of divergence.