edited by Sarah Tobias and Arlene Stein
contributions by Arlene Stein, Kathryn Abrams, Nermin Allam, Kirin Gupta, Noëlle McAfee, Ileana Nachescu, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy and Sarah Tobias
Rutgers University Press, 2024
Cloth: 978-1-9788-3546-7 | Paper: 978-1-9788-3545-0 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-3547-4
Library of Congress Classification HQ1236.F435 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 320.90082

Cultural critic Lauren Berlant wrote that “politics is always emotional,” and her words hold especially true for politics in the twenty-first century. From Obama to Trump, from Black Lives Matter to the anti-abortion movement, politicians and activists appeal to hope, fear, anger, and pity, all amplified by social media. 
The essays in Feeling Democracy examine how both reactionary and progressive politics are driven largely by emotional appeals to the public. The contributors in this collection cover everything from immigrants’ rights movements to white nationalist rallies to show how solidarities forged around gender, race, and sexuality become catalysts for a passionate democratic politics. Some essays draw parallels between today’s activist strategies and the use of emotion in women-led radical movements from the 1960s and 1970s, while others expand the geographic scope of the collection by considering Asian decolonial politics and Egyptian pro-democracy protests. 
Incorporating scholarship from fields as varied as law, political science, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and history, Feeling Democracy considers how emotional rhetoric in politics can be a double-edged sword—often wielded by authoritarian populists who seek to undermine democracy but sometimes helping to bring about a genuine renewal of participatory democracy.