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Political Action in Vaclav Havel's Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance (Hardback)
  • Political Action in Vaclav Havel's Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance (Hardback)
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Political Action in Vaclav Havel's Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance (Hardback)

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£65.00
Hardback 186 Pages / Published: 25/11/2011
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Political Action in Vaclav Havel's Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance, by Delia Popescu, explores the Czech dissident's theory of individual opposition, resistance to oppression, and individual responsibility. The book contributes to our understanding of both the extreme circumstances of oppression and to the subversive uses of oppression in modern liberal democracy.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739149577
Number of pages: 186
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 240 x 161 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Vaclav Havel remains among the most--some might say one of the few--appealing public intellectuals of the 20th century. Genial, witty, humane, and (mirabile dictu) politically successful, he deserves exactly the well-informed, lively treatment he receives here. Popescu (LeMoyne College) succinctly presents Havel's critique of modern life and his efforts in thought and action to counteract its toxins. While unhesitatingly preferring the regime of liberal democracy to those of totalitarianism and its flaccid, spiritless successor, "post-totalitarianism," Havel also saw what Tocqueville saw: even relatively decent modern societies tend toward lives of apathy and civic disengagement under the rule of impersonal bureaucracies. The administrative functionalism so admired by Hegel bespeaks not the rule of reason but the rule of rationalism--of reason made into a system of rules that overlook the personality of the human beings so ruled. Against this, Havel not only proposed but lived a life in which he built up Czech civil society, urging his fellow noncitizens to take personal responsibility for one another. While protestors in the Western democracies demanded participatory democracy, Havel worked for anticipatory democracy: "the civic spirit that defeated communism ... is also the proper foundation for successful democratic rebuilding" after post-totalitarianism collapses. Summing Up: Recommended. * CHOICE *
Popescu presents his political theory as fresh and relevant to the problems of political action that are endemic to modern political life. It is a welcome addition to a body of scholarship that is emerging around the legacy of Vaclav Havel and compels us to take seriously the political and philosophical contributions of antipolitics. This accessible volume should find a ready home on the shelves of philosophers and activists alike. * Theory & Event *
Delia Popescu has taken on a challenging task. Her intent is to provide a new interpretation of Havel as political philosopher. Her stated aim is to shine a new, clarifying, light on Havel's concept of responsibility, which has become a diffuse notion....this courageous and intellectually passionate volume deserves our attention. * Slavic Review *

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