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Introducing 'Democratic Transformations' – a new series from The Loop

This week sees the launch of 🎭 Democratic Transformations, a brand-new series on our blog site, The Loop.

Towards a more democratic future

Curated by our 2022 Rising Star award winner Hans Asenbaum (University of Canberra), contributions to the series will argue that in daring to be different, citizens can help engender systemic change for political good.

The climate emergency, erupting wars, and rampaging inequality all pose an existential threat to life on Earth. Now, more than ever, we need structural change on a planetary level. But how can we do that? What is the role of identities in societal transformations? And what is the role of democracy scholars, practitioners and activists in a movement towards democratic futures?

The Politics of Becoming

Inspired by The Politics of Becoming

The series is inspired largely by Hans’s new open-access book The Politics of Becoming (OUP, 2023). In it, he argues that we need to transform ourselves in order to transform society. As a first step towards self-transformation, says Hans, we need to recognise our own diversity and transformability. By so doing, we can uncover paths towards systemic change.

In June 2023, Hans delivered a lecture offering further insights into his book, as part of our House Series. Watch the recording below.

A call to actionHans Asenbaum

The blog series on Democratic Transformations is driven by a sense of urgency. The world is quite literally on fire. Meanwhile, we democracy scholars focus our attention on technicalities such as the invitation techniques of mini-publics. The idea of the series is to lead a debate on the big questions. It invites democracy scholars to take a political stance and enter into conversations with activists and practitioners.

In the midst of ecological crises, pandemics and wars, we need to embolden each other and ourselves to become more political. As researchers, we are often called on to provide objective facts. So taking a political stance may entail some kind of self-transformation which, in my understanding, is part of the politics of becoming.

Hans Asenbaum, Democratic Transformations series founder

Looking ahead

Follow-ups responding to Hans’s foundational blog piece, which will be published over the coming days and weeks, include Olimpia Burchiellaro’s How capitalism co-opted difference and why we need to take it back, Taina Meriluoto exploring ‘Selfie activism’ and Brandon Mack on why Black, Queer, Trans and Disabled lives matter. Look out for the 🎭-branded articles!

► Do you feel inspired to contribute?
Have a quick read of The Loop's Author Guidelines and pitch your idea.

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Keywords: Democracy, Identity

02 November 2023
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