Fabio Wolkenstein

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Fabio Wolkenstein
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Fabio Wolkenstein

Postdoctoral Fellow 1. October 2016 - 30 September 2017

Research topic

»On Transnational Partisanship«

Project outline

How can ordinary citizens overcome the power of elites? By organising, of course. This insight is as old as modern democracy itself, and it remains true in ever so many ways. In this age of globalisation, elites increasingly operate transnationally, coordinating their activities beyond the confines of the nation-state. Think for example of the numerous organised interest groups that lobby the European Commission. Transnational elites of this kind often have disproportionate impact on decisions that affect millions of citizens, relegating the latter to passive recipients of policy. In order effectively to contest the power and influence of such groups, it seems, citizens too will have to project their collective political activities across borders; they will have to organise transnationally.

The proposed research project seeks to explore a largely ignored but potentially fruitful way in which citizens may jointly act beyond the domestic political stage: as transnational partisans who promote comprehensive political visions together with likeminded others from separate political spheres. The idea of transnational partisanship is ordinarily associated with the Socialist tradition and activist-writers such as Rosa Luxemburg. The project seeks to investigate the relevance and potential of this idea in the world as we know it today. Specifically, it seeks to answer three fundamental questions. Firstly, what exactly is transnational partisanship, and how does it differ from other forms of transnational action? Secondly, under what conditions might transnational partisanship emerge and prosper? And thirdly, can transnational partisanship serve as a pathway to transnational democracy? (Fabio Wolkenstein)

Scholarly profile

Fabio Wolkenstein earned his doctorate in political theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science in July 2016, with a thesis entitled: »Deliberative Democracy Within Parties«. 

Main areas of research

Democratic Theory, in particular theoretical approaches to partisanship, political activism and the theory of representative democracy.

Selected publications

  • (with Martin Ebeling) »Exercising Deliberative Agency in Deliberative Systems«, in: Political Studies (forthcoming).
  • »Demoicracy, Transnational Partisanship, and the EU«, in: Journal of Common Market Studies (forthcoming).
  • »Populism, Liberal Democracy, and the Ethics of Peoplehood«, in: European Journal of Political Theory (forthcoming).
  • »Intra-Party Democracy Beyond Aggregation«, in: Party Politics (forthcoming).
  • »Membership Ballots and the Value of Intra-party Democracy«, in: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (forthcoming).
  • (with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti), »The Crisis of Party Democracy, Cognitive Mobilisation, and the Case for Making Parties More Deliberative«, in: American Political Science Review, Vol. 111 (1), 2017.
  • »A Deliberative Model of Intra-Party Democracy«, in: Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 24 (3), 2016.