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Creative Crises of Democracy

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Joris Gijsenbergh, Wim De Jong, Saskia Hollander and Tim Houwen

The «crisis of democracy» is as old as democracy itself. From the first democracy in Athens up until western democracy in the twenty-first century, criticism and complaints about the deficiencies of democracy have recurred. Pessimistic accounts typically focus on the destructive potential of these crises.
This collection of essays takes an alternative approach and draws attention to the creativity inherent in these «crises of democracy» – the potential for renewal and adaptation.
In the volume, historians, philosophers and political scientists from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden and Austria tackle the three key questions prompted by this perspective: what moments of creativity can be discerned during crises of democracy in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; how does democracy adapt during moments of crisis; and how does the notion of a democratic crisis affect political reality and vice versa?

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Acknowledgements 9

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9 Acknowledgements We would like to warmly thank all the contributors to the present volume and all those who joined us at the Soeterbeeck Conference in December 2009, participating, giving papers, and enlivening the aca- demic atmosphere, for the considerable effort they have invested in this work. We want also to offer our thanks to Chris Gordon and Marcus Ferley, our language editors, and to Gudrun Staedel-Schneider, our bibliograph- ic editor, and to Celine Giesbers for their work in preparing this volume for publication. Last, but not least, we would like to acknowledge the role of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in making this book possible as part of its “Repertoires of Democracy” project. The editors

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