From decaffeinated democracy to democracy in the real in ten (Lacanian) sessions

Authored by: Maria Aristodemou

Routledge Handbook of Law and Theory

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138956469
eBook ISBN: 9781315665733
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter diagnoses contemporary manifestations of democracy as decaffeinated, that is, as Žižek would say, democracy deprived of its disturbing substance. It analyses decaffeinated democracy’s symptoms and excavates desires that are not as laudable as the patient (who often behaves like Hegel’s beautiful soul) assumes they are: in particular it finds a perverse core at its heart that can slide to the pathological, or, as I call it, democratic fundamentalism. The chapter suggests the challenge is to confront this perverse core, traverse the fantasy that the Big Other can save us, and assume the task of self-legislation in the real.

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