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Democracy in a Time of MiseryFrom Spectacular Tragedies to Deliberative Action$
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Nicole Curato

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198842484

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198842484.001.0001

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Like a Kite in a Hurricane

Like a Kite in a Hurricane

(p.166) 9 Like a Kite in a Hurricane
Democracy in a Time of Misery

Nicole Curato

Oxford University Press

This final chapter focuses on two lessons for deliberative democracy based on disaster ethnography. It begins by making a case for celebrating everyday achievements of democratic action. The micro-politics of deliberative democracy works through humble methods of everyday practice with everyday effects. While this must not be interpreted as a replacement for large scale political reform, it also suggests an appreciation for the quotidian features of political action that builds the edifice of democratic life. The chapter concludes with a re-evaluation of the role of emotions in public deliberation. It argues that emotions play an ambivalent role as far as they can draw attention to the suffering of distant others, but it also risks creating hierarchies of misery. This chapter is entitled Like a Kite in a Hurricane—a metaphor for democracy in a time of misery.

Keywords:   disasters, ethnography, emotions, democracy, deliberative democracy

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