Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Mario Feit


This paper grapples with the differences between genuine and ordinary democracy within the political thought of Jacques Rancière, Sheldon Wolin, and Hannah Arendt. Each discusses the problems of ordinary democracy and offer solutions in terms of what I call genuine democracy. Ordinary democracy is the established norm of liberal democracy celebrated as the stable and a desired “end” of political action. It is what happens when politics as usual becomes the norm and shuts the people from the halls of power. Genuine politics exist within the structure ordinary democracy and seeks to achieve the continuous re-establishment of democratic processes while in the process speeding up and disrupting “politics as usual”.