By Jessica Greenberg
When scholar activists in Serbia helped topple dictator Slobodan Milosevic on October five, 2000, they abruptly came across that the post-revolutionary interval introduced even larger difficulties. How do you certainly stay and perform democracy within the wake of warfare and the shadow of a contemporary revolution? How do younger Serbians try to translate the power and pleasure generated by means of broad scale mobilization into the gradual paintings of creating democratic associations? Greenberg navigates throughout the ranks of pupil agencies as they transition their activism from the streets again into the halls of the college. In exploring the typical practices of pupil activists—their triumphs and frustrations—After the Revolution argues that sadness isn't a failure of democracy yet a basic characteristic of the way humans dwell and perform it. This attention-grabbing booklet develops a serious vocabulary for the social lifetime of unhappiness with the purpose of assisting electorate, students, and policymakers around the globe break out the catch of framing new democracies as doomed to failure.
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Additional info for After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy, and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia
Given this, it was particularly apt that he was Against the Future 37 the first who suggested disappointment to me as the ethos of postrevolutionary Serbia. As we sat in his office on a hot summer day, less than a year after the revolution of October 5, 2000, he explained to me that people were let down by the lack of change after October 6. By October 10, he said, people woke up in the same room as always and felt disappointed. Mihajlo had skillfully navigated this postrevolutionary disappointment by finding new ways to engage in social activism.
In other words, although democracy may have particular ideologies of progress and futurity—what Elizabeth Povinelli (2002, 33) calls “the future perfect,” in her critical analysis of late liberalism—the practice of democracy is shot through with contradictions and compromises in the present. 40 Against the Future How, then, did the anticipation of disappointment and the contingency of political practice shape a range of activist practices focused on present-oriented negotiation rather than future-oriented idealism?
Politics or democracy as abstract concepts necessarily take textual, narrative, and embodied forms that are subject to framing and reframing as they circulate. A politics of disappointment emerges when messy realities move within the same discursive field as normative ideals and expectations. When revolution and democracy don’t live up to their promises, people produce forms of “secular theodicy,” or ways of making sense of and negotiating the space between ideal and everyday lived experience (Herzfeld 1992).
After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy, and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia by Jessica Greenberg