Cover: Democracy Disfigured: Opinion, Truth, and the People, from Harvard University PressCover: Democracy Disfigured in HARDCOVER

Democracy Disfigured

Opinion, Truth, and the People

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Product Details


$43.50 • £34.95 • €39.00

ISBN 9780674725133

Publication: February 2014


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


A beautifully wrought reflection on the ‘disfigurement’ of democracy. Deploying the ancient analogy and image of the body—as in ‘body politic’—Urbinati traces the theoretical sources and consequences of three deformations that have been introduced over time: the epistemic, the populist, and the plebiscitarian. All, the author argues, are ‘negative mutations of the procedural character of democracy.’—Terence Ball, Arizona State University

Urbinati’s book is sure to unsettle current debates, with its provocative critique of democratic ‘disfigurations’ and the theories that she says misjudge them—either by depoliticizing public opinion, neglecting the danger of its populist manipulation, or reducing it to citizen voyeurism.—John Medearis, University of California, Riverside