The Democratic Worth of Celebrity Politics in an Era of Late Modernity

Wheeler, Mark (2012) The Democratic Worth of Celebrity Politics in an Era of Late Modernity. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 14 (3). pp. 407-422. ISSN 1467-856X


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celebrity politicians;
late modernity;
Barack Obama;
political aesthetics

In a seminal article published in 2004, John Street argued that celebrity politics has provided a greater expression for the enhancement of democratic behaviour. Consequently, this analysis builds on Street's thesis to consider the worth of celebrity politics in an era of late modernity. To this end, it employs Henrik Bang's and John Keane's constructs of Everyday Makers and Monitory Democracy, which have emphasised the importance of ‘involvement’, ‘voice’ and ‘output’ in terms of representation, to provide an ideological framework to capture the value of celebrity politics. Subsequently, it may be argued that Barack Obama utilised a form of ‘liquid’ celebrity in his 2008 US presidential campaign to reconnect with a disenfranchised electorate. However, this article will critically assess these types of celebrity politics to contend that aggregated forms of ‘input’ drawn from celebrity activism may more truly affect political outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
Department: School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mark Wheeler
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2015 10:43
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2015 10:43

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