Performing Democracy: Roles, Stages, Scripts
Metaphors of the stage are commonplace when it comes to democracy. We talk of political ‘actors’ and ‘audiences’, ‘backstage’ politics and potential leaders ‘waiting in the wings’. But with few exceptions, democracy scholars treat such talk as mere metaphor. They do not think that democracy really is a performance, with all the dramatic norms and paraphernalia that go with that. Indeed, in an era in which highly rationalist models of democracy dominate, many scholars would recoil from a dramatic account, linking performance and drama with insincerity, strategising, manipulation and ‘spin’.
The Grammar of Politics and Performance