Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Agitated Times

Agitated Times

(p.438) Chapter 25 Agitated Times
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the notion of agitation. Agitation suggests a politics of premeditated spontaneity and of varying but controlled tempos. However, this represents an older understanding, one that is close to the cooptation and normalization of agitation, agitation as the contrived outrage of orthodoxy. A contemporary conception might evade cooptation by adopting an understanding of agitation as inspired intervention, sudden, short-lived, dramatic, disruptive, unco-optable. But does this last conception, in its concern to avoid entrapment in institutional processes, deprive action of any staying-power and of democratic legitimacy? The chapter then attempts to clarify what is at stake by contrasting two ideal-types of politics and their tempos. One conception represents agitation as disruptive, energetic intervention whose results include a large element of the unpredictable and perhaps some element of the anarchic; the other is represented by an ideal of action as orderly, stylized, shaped, and limited by prescribed processes, procedures, even time-tables, that are designed to produce predictable (i.e., consistent) decisions or results.

Keywords:   mass protests, demonstrations, political theory, democracy, agitation

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.