Grassroots democracy: a political and philosophical analysis

Canadian political philosopher James Tully distinguishes two forms of democratic activity: ‘restrictive’ and ‘extensive’ democracy (‘Democracy and Globalisation: A Defeasible Sketch’ (2001)). ‘Restrictive democracy’ refers to ‘the mature and predominant practices of government and democracy typical of representative democratic nation-states’ (Tully, 2001, 38). ‘Extensive democracy’ refers to non- or differently representative practices of collective resistance that, according to Tully, ‘cannot be understood adequately in terms of the theories and traditions of representative government’ (Tully, 2001, 39). Modern political philosophy, in its focus on reasons, norms and abstract principles, mostly overlooks extensive democracy, which takes place ‘beneath the threshold of the formal features of law and democracy’ (Tully, 2001, 53). This enables philosophers to preserve a clear distinction between political and social philosophy, yet at the expense of obscuring the social processes at the basis of the political as such. [Read more…]

Coalition of the Willing

It has been a long haul and herculean effort for everyone involved, but at last, the website for ‘Coalition of the Willing’ is live. You’ll find it here.

Press release

‘Coalition of the Willing’ is a collaborative animated film and web-based event about an online war against global warming in a ‘post Copenhagen’ world.

‘Coalition of the Willing’ is being crafted by a network of 24 artists from around the world using varied and eclectic film making techniques. Collaborators include some of the world’s top moving image talent, such as Decoy, World Leaders and Parasol Island.

The film offers a response to the major problem of our time: how to galvanize and enlist the global publics in the fight against global warming. This optimistic and principled film explores how we could use new Internet technologies to leverage the powers of activists, experts, and ordinary citizens in collaborative ventures to combat climate change. Through analyses of swarm activity and social revolution, ‘Coalition of the Willing’ makes a compelling case for the new online activism and explains how to hand the fight against global warming to the people.

‘Coalition of the Willing’ will have an innovative staggered online release. As from 3rd February 2010 the script for the film will be fully available on the site. The completed animated sections will be uploaded in 6 different ‘waves’ 2 weeks apart, over a 12-week period, as they are finished by the contributing artists. Each wave of uploads will introduce 3-5 new sections of the film. The film’s staggered release and the online forum will allow the site to be a crucible for debate on the issues it raises, and allows the audience to collaborate in re- defining the argument even as the film is being made. The film will be complete by mid-April 2010. [Read more…]