Peter Sloterdijk – On Pseudonymous Politics: Regarding Implicit and Explicit Misconceptions of Democracy


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Peter Sloterdijk

‘On Pseudonymous Politics: Regarding Implicit and Explicit Misconceptions of Democracy’ is an intervention into the state of democracy (and its discontents) today and a rejoinder to some of its discontents. Sloterdijk grounds his argument in extensive historical analysis of the ‘pseudonymous’ condition of democracy and identifies four noms de guerre: Oligocracy, Fiscocracy, Mobocracy and Phobocracy. 

This article is a significant intervention into debates on the contemporary politics in the context of ‘post-truth’, populism (on the left and right) and the battle for liberal democracy in the Western world and beyond. It treads deliberately onto the turf of Politics and International Relations and is a challenge to scholars in our field.

This text is a version of the ‘Cardiff Lecture’ delivered by Peter Sloterdijk as the keynote address for the European International Studies Association (EISA) European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), Cardiff University, Wales, on 7 June 2017. As a keynote address, the essay was not peer reviewed but we offered some of Peter Sloterdijk's peers in IR the chance to respond to his arguments here.