Examining the work of Sheldon Wolin, I contend that his later analysis of democracy and democratic theory suffers because he loses the notion of democracy as a "public hermeneutic" that I see as key to his earlier work. Taking my departure from Wolin, I use a range of political theorists to demonstrate how thinking about politics hermeneutically helps us to more effectively confront potential issues of power and domination that are central to politics. Ultimately, by bringing Wolin into conversation with French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, I work to rehabilitate Wolin's hermeneutic concerns and in so doing develop a theory that asserts the centrality of this idea of a public hermeneutic to the functioning of contemporary democracy.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2015. Major: Political Science. Advisors: Mary Dietz, Antonio Vazquez-Arroyo. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 315 pages.
Crisis of the Republic: Memory, History, and the Hermeneutics of Citizenship.
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