Last month saw the release of a new title in the Antipode Book Series – Mark Purcell’s The Down-deep Delight of Democracy.
In the book – chapter one of which can be read here – Mark argues that the hegemony of the neoliberal/capitalist nexus must be challenged if we are to address the proliferating challenges facing our world, making the case for how democracy can revive the political fortunes of the Left.
His book explores issues central to the civil uprisings that swept the world in 2011, drawing profound connections between democracy and neoliberalism in an urban context; features in-depth analysis of key political theorists including Gramsci, Lefebvre, Rancière, Deleuze and Guattari, and Hardt and Negri; advocates the reframing of democracy as a personal and collective struggle to discover the best in ourselves and others; and includes empirical analysis of recent instances of collective action.
‘This is an exceptional book. It is dense, closely reasoned, scholarly, indispensable as a reference, yet impassioned and oriented to practical political activity. It traces the history of democracy, its evolution in philosophy and in practice, and views democracy as a never-ending process, building on what exists, ever moving to what could be. It is a provocation both to thought and to action, aimed both at educators and Occupy activists.’—Peter Marcuse, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at Columbia University
‘Mark Purcell criticizes neoliberals and neo-Keynsians alike as supporting oligarchy. He establishes democracy as a transcendent goal—but one that is a process always in a state of becoming, not an end point. Whether or not one agrees with him on the supremacy of democracy above all other ends, his views are challenging and enlightening.’—Susan Fainstein, Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design
Mark is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. He is the author of Recapturing Democracy (Routledge, 2008) and his work on urban politics, political theory, social movements, and democracy has appeared in a number of journals including International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Geography, Environment and Planning, Antipode, Urban Studies, and Political Geography.