Political translation: How social movement democracies survive

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At a time when the legitimacy of democracies is in question, calls to improve the quality of public debate and deliberative democracy are sweeping the social sciences. Yet, real deliberation lies far from the deliberative ideal. Theorists have argued that linguistic and cultural differences foster inequality and impede democratic deliberation. In this empirical study, the author presents the collective practices of political translation, which help multilingual and culturally diverse groups work together more democratically than homogeneous groups. Political translation, distinct from linguistic translation, is a set of disruptive and communicative practices developed by activists and grassroots community organizers in order to address inequities hindering democratic deliberation and to entreat powerful groups to work together more inclusively with disempowered groups. Based on ten years of fieldwork, Political Translation provides the first systematic comparative study of deliberation under conditions of linguistic difference and cultural misunderstandings. Proposes a new vision of democracy and deliberation in culturally diverse civic groups and social movements Introduces a new model of 'the third' within deliberative democracy Presents a working model of democracy that makes possible cooperation and coalition building in heterogeneous groups and settings characterized by structural inequality and geographic distance, based on case studies in Europe and the US.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages146
ISBN (Print)9781108420716
ISBN (Electronic)9781108355087
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

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ID: 228488179