The Post-Democratic Age and the French Revolution

We live in a “post-democratic age” according to numerous historians, political theorists, and political scientists.

Sophie Wahnich recently published an article in Libération, affirming that European society is characterized by a post-democratic political system. Wahnich argues that: “Nous vivons, en France et en Europe, une époque de post-démocratie. Les citoyens n’ont plus de véritable pouvoir de contrôle sur leur devenir. Leurs manifestations sont méprisées et leur vote falsifié. Depuis 2005, les peuples européens savent qu’ils ont face à eux des pouvoirs financiers plus puissants que leur misérable affirmation symbolique et morale.”

Wahnich assesses our ostensibly post-democratic age through the lens of French Revolutionary history. She asserts that “notre post-démocratie pourrait ressembler à la prérévolution,” citing the writings of abbé Sièyes.

The article is available on the Libération website. French-speaking students in my HIST 423 course on The French Revolution and Napoleon will be interested in this article.

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This entry was posted in Early Modern Europe, European History, European Union, French History, French Revolution and Napoleon, Human Rights, Noble Culture and History of Elites, Revolts and Revolutions, Social History. Bookmark the permalink.

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