Radical democratic action : movement, institution, and the development of constituent power
- Radical democracy is a project for Left-democratic alternatives to both state socialism and capitalist liberalism. It promotes expanding and enhancing the power of the people in the decisions and institutions that affect their lives. In this dissertation, I develop a theory of radical democracy as a mode of action aimed at developing constituent power. I then use this as a foundation for a strategy of social transformation that links movement and institution, simultaneously challenging barriers to democratization while meeting community-defined needs for critical goods and services. This is guided by three objectives: 1) to demonstrate the value of radical democracy as a meta-frame that is useful for bridging multiple struggles for social justice; 2) to provide a framework for analyzing how the "power of the people" or constituent power develops; and 3) to develop a strategy for a radical democracy movement that bridges the divide between movement and institution. In Chapter One, I introduce a basic framework for understanding movements and the role of institutions in facilitating movement activity. In Chapter Two, I define the vision for a radical democracy movement as an ongoing process of developing constituent power. I trace a history of radical democratic theory, distinguishing it from liberal and market-based approaches to democracy, while illustrating its affinity with new conceptions of socialism and communism. I then analyze radical democracy in terms of a disaggregated and developmental conception of constituent power, a framework to which I return in each of the subsequent chapters. In Chapter Three, I introduce three different approaches to contemporary movement work -- prefigurative politics, the party-form, and counter-institutions. While, each of these works to develop some elements of constituent power, they are inadequate individually. In the final two chapters, I propose a structure and action framework for a radical democracy movement, a strategy that integrates movement and institution. In Chapter Four, I present an institutional design of democratic counter-institution that builds on the movement structures discussed in the previous chapter. I draw on a number of existing experiments in democratic political economy, but propose a structure that embeds local, activist enterprises in participatory communities and support institutions. And in Chapter Five, I focus on the specific action of radical democracy movement-building -- transformative organizing. I link this organizing approach to democratic counter-institution and the development of constituent power. In both of these chapters, I address some of the challenges that these forms will face as they work to deepen democracy internally and expand a radical democracy movement into new spaces and new spheres of life.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Stanford University, Program in Modern Thought and Literature.
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Program in Modern Thought and Literature.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2015.
- © 2015 by Daniel David Murray
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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