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Hope and despair: making sense of politics in the twenty-first century

, : Hope and despair: making sense of politics in the twenty-first century. British Journal of Sociology 53(3): 467-490

As his life degenerates into accelerating cycles of chaos in the film 'Clockwork', the headmaster, played by John Cleese, expresses his existential response to the latest crisis in his life: 'It's not the despair, I can cope with the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.' Politics as hope has fallen out of favour. Whether from cynicism, pessimism or realism--or a combination of all three--the standing of politics, let alone politicians, is at a very low ebb. This reality provides the opportunity to assess both causes and consequences by asking: how do we make sense of politics? The following discussion considers this vital question under four headings: context, participation, issues and goals.


PMID: 12227845

DOI: 10.1080/0007131022000000608

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