Policy Press

What Kind of Democracy Is This?

Politics in a Changing World

By Matthew Flinders


Jul 5, 2017

Page count

288 pages




210 x 150 mm


Policy Press


Jul 5, 2017

Page count

288 pages





Policy Press


Jul 5, 2017

Page count

288 pages





Policy Press
What Kind of Democracy Is This?

Has there ever been a period in modern history when democratic politics seemed more unpredictable or unruly? The old rules by which politics was once both ordered and understood have waned, in the face of a set of global challenges almost beyond control or comprehension.

In terms of understanding these challenges, there are very few commentators who can run the gamut from democracy to disgust, from the micro to the macro and from love to loathing. And yet this is exactly what Matthew Flinders delivers, expertly ranging across topics including architecture, art, fell running and fairy tales in an attempt to understand the emerging democratic landscape.

Linking academic scholarship with popular culture, this refreshing and stimulating book seeks to provoke and inform in equal measure.

Matthew Flinders is Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics at the University of Sheffield – the first research centre of its kind in the world. He is also Chair of the UK Political Studies Association and a member of the board of the Academy of Social Sciences. In recent years his research and writing have focused on (amongst other issues) the rise of anti-politics, the mental wellbeing of politicians and models of democracy. He has written and presented a number of documentaries for the BBC and frequently writes for newspapers, magazines and websites around the world and currently holds a Professorial Fellowship within the House of Commons.

1st Post: Democracy & Life, Feral Forks & Fell Running;

1. Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics;

2. Down and Out in Bloemfontein and Rio;

3. Reveries of a Long Distance Fell Runner;

4. Feral Politics: Searching for Meaning in the 21st Century;

5. Sharks, Asylum Seekers and Australian Politics;

6. The Smart Fork and the Crowding Out of Thought;

7. Vape – A Word that Encapsulates the Nothingness of Today;

8. Saints and Sinners, Politicians and Priests;

9. Why Satire is no joke anymore;

2nd Post: Democracy & Disgust, Love & Loathing;

10. In our Name;

11. The Problems with Democracy;

12. Hyper-Democracy;

13. Calming the Storm;

14. Look Beneath the Vote;

15. More than a Vote;

16. Beastly Eastleigh and the ‘None-of-the-Above’ Party;

17. New Politics, Kinder Politics and the Myth of Anti-Politics;

3rd Post: Democracy & Representation, Disintegration & Desire;

18. What a mess! The politics and governance of the British constitution;

19. The Dis-United Kingdom;

20. What does Scotland’s vote mean for Constitutional Reform?;

21. Looking beyond the Scottish referendum;

22. Cameron makes lightning bid to become the great reformer;

23. Learning to love democracy;

24. Let the people speak!;

25. Raw Politics;

4th Post: Democracy & Personality, Politics & Pressure;

26. Vote Jeremy Clarkson on 7 May!;

27. After the Storm: Failure, Fallout and Farage;

28. Tony Benn was a true man of the people;

29. Dear Russell Brand- On the Politics of Comedy and Disengagement;

30. Foolish, but no fool- Boris Johnson and the Art of Politics;

31. Remembering Margaret Thatcher;

32. Trump That! The Failure and Farce of American Politics;

33. Mad Politics;

5th Post: Art & Architecture, Politics & Protest;

34. Shake your Chains: Politics, Poetry and Protest;

35. DIY Democracy: Festivals, Parks and Fun;

36. Participatory Arts and Active Citizenship;

37. The Body Politic: Art, Pain, Putin;

38. It’s a Joke!;

39. Left Behind? The Future of Progressive Politics;

40. Why Parliament Matters;

41. The Palace of Westminster: Rip it up and start again;

42. Democracy Day: We need to break free;

6th Post: Fig Leaves & Fairy Tales, Blunders & Buffoons;

43. Attack Ads and American Presidential Politics;

44. Dante and the Spin Doctors;

45. Democratic Realism;

46. Bang, Bang - Democracy’s Dead: Obama and the Politics of Gun Control;

47. Fig Leaves and Fairy Tales: Political Promises and the ‘truth-o-meter’;

48. Disengaged Britain: ‘Don’t vote, it just encourages the B***ards’;

49. The Blunders of Our Governments;

50. Dear Maria Miller, it really wasn’t all your fault;

51. Bring me a scapegoat to destroy: Babies, Blame and Bargains;

The Last Post: Professors & Irrelevance, Standing - Up & Sitting Down;

52. Explaining Political Disaffection: Closing the Expectations Gap;

53. Politics Without Vision;

54. Dangerous Minds;

55. Claims of increasing irrelevance of universities are ideology masquerading as evidence;

56. The Dismal Debate;

57. Post-Truth, Post-Political, Post-Democracy;

58. A Talent for Politics? The ‘Great Scholar, Poor Politician’ Thesis;

59. Standing Up and Shaping the Agenda;

60. Welcom to the Year of Living Dangerously;

A Special Delivery: 'So, What type of Democracy is this?'