Democracy -: Or a short history of powerlessness

Manuel Arriaga, Manuel Maria Carrilho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our democracies presently face a set of unique challenges. In this article we argue that the current crisis needs to be understood as resulting from the convergence of two historical transformations: the paradigm of boundlessness; and what we term "endividualismo", a novel mutation of individualism in the context of the financial age. The result is a novel political reality where individual rights are everexpanding and the opportunities for collective action have shrunk to the point of impossibility. The resulting powerlessness of the polity demands new answers: we need to reconfigure the relationship between citizens and political power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-96
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Debt
  • Democracy
  • Political philosophy


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