MASS PARRHESIA: Strengthening Democracy by Articulating the Public Will Quantitatively in a Non-Binding, Open Forum

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Title: MASS PARRHESIA: Strengthening Democracy by Articulating the Public Will Quantitatively in a Non-Binding, Open Forum
Authors: Bruzzone, Nicolas
Date: 2019-04-10
Abstract: This thesis begins by considering how democracy has been affected by a modern public discourse that is increasingly siloed and polarized, with experts mistrusted and truth relativized. In Chapter 2 I outline the overriding causes of populist upsurges in the West, especially examining the outcomes of Brexit and Trump, and I assess the circumstances as potentially threatening to liberalism. Alongside economic and cultural causes, I argue that a lack of political efficacy is frustrating and has been a contributor to populist sentiments in the West. In Chapter 3 I analyze Foucault’s conception of parrhesia and argue that we can moderate populist impulses by harnessing the elements of parrhesia to improve discourse and enhance political efficacy in Western democracies. I reconcile Foucault’s problematization of truth by upholding the value of the wisdom of crowds, when they are properly engaged. In Chapter 4 I describe a democracy platform for mass parrhesia that harnesses the elements of parrhesia with modern information technology, and I submit that Canada is apt for its introduction. I conclude by addressing potential objections and I advocate for the application of my concrete proposal to mitigate the risk of electing a populist, illiberal government in Canada.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/39052
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-23301
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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