SPAN-495 Problems of Democracy in Contemporary Spain (and abroad)
Spring for 2016-2017
As a result of the economic crisis, Spanish society has witnessed a series of challenges to existing institutions and democratic practices. Some examples are the protest movement 15-M or the "indignados" (“outraged”), the growth of political disaffection, a questioning of traditional political parties, a rise in populism and challenges to territorial integrity. This is not a unique challenge to Spanish society, but a malaise present in manyadvanced democracies. Developments in Spain showcase a situation that is taking place in various countries and reveal how these events amount to a redefinition of democratic legitimacy.
In this class, we will approach these political developments through the lenses of philosophy and political science. Something serious is going on with politics, and the term "indignation" that has recently been associated with it reflects this dramatically. Never before in history have there been so many ways in which to gain access to, monitor and challenge the authorities, but neither have the people ever felt so frustrated regarding their ability to make politics something different. It is certainly true that the crisis we are living through is a complex process and the acceleration is so great that we still have not had enough time to fully understand it. Perhaps that is why times of indignation are also, and principally, times of confusion. At a time of indignation, which questions and criticizes many things that we presumed to be peacefully shared, this course will attempt to give an overview of our ideas about politics, questioning whether we have hit the mark when it comes to defining its nature, who should do it, what are its possibilities and limits, whether some of our commonplaces are still valid and what we can expect of it.
Readings in English:
Colomer, Josep (1995), Game Theory and the Transition to Democracy: The Spanish Model, Aldershot: Edward Elgar.
Hessel, Stéphane (2011), Time for Outrage, Twelve.
Innerarity, Daniel (2012), The Future and its Enemies. In Defense of Political Hope, Stanford University Press.
Urbinati, Nadie (2014), Democracy disfigured, Harvard University Press.
Weber, Max (1946), "Politics as Vocation", in Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, pp. 77-128, Oxford University Press.
Readings in Spanish:
Brugué, Joaquim (2014), Es la política, idiotas, Accent: Barcelona.
Chirbes, Rafel (2013), En la orilla, Barcelona: Tusquets.
Colomer, Josep (1998), La transición española. El modelo español, Anagrama: Barcelona.
Innerarity, Daniel (2009), El futuro y sus enemigos. Uma defensa de la esperanza política, Paidós: Barcelona.
Muñoz Molina. Antonio (2013), Todo lo que era sólido,Barcelona: Seix Barral.
Ovejero, Félix (2013), ¿Idiotas o ciudadanos? El 15-M y la teoría de la democracia, Barcelona: Montesinos.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: