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The Democratic worth of Celebrity Politics in an era of Late Modernity

Mark Wheeler
London Metropolitan University
Mark Wheeler
London Metropolitan University
Open Panel

Abstract

As there has been an exponential increase in celebrity political interventions a debate has emerged about the worth of celebrity and democracy. In post-democratic societies, Henrik Bang and John Keanes’ respective constructs of Everyday Makers and Monitory Democracy have placed an emphasis on the importance of ‘involvement’,‘voice’ and ‘output’ in terms of political representation, and provide an ideological framework through which to capture the value of celebrity politicians. Subsequently, it may be argued that Barack Obama utilised a form of ‘liquid’ celebrity in his 2008 United States (US) Presidential campaign to reconnect with a disenfranchised American electorate. However, this paper contends that it remains necessary to consider how far celebrity politicians have ‘inputed’ aggregated forms of ‘agency’ to affect political outcomes. From these differing perspectives, it seeks to define a normative position concerning the worth of celebrity politics in an era of late modernity.