Anna Krasteva. Post-democratic crisis and political leadership. From Crisis Management to Crisis Creation.- In: Salvatore S. et al (eds) Symbolic universes in time of (post)crisis. The future of European societies. Springer, 2019, 3-23.
This chapter substantiates the idea of a post-democratic crisis – a new type of political crisis characterized by its growing dissociation from ontological reality – the political crisis over migration is reaching white-hot peaks today despite the substantial decline of migration flows. The post-democratic crisis is liquefied – it depends less and less on external manifestations and determinants, and more and more on the voluntaristic strategies of mega leaders. The new crisis is examined in the analytical triangle of post-democracy – post-truth – mega leadership. This challenging interpretation of the crisis is substantiated in three steps. The first part of the chapter argues that the crisis is not (only) a problem of inefficient governance but, rather, a fundamental self-definition of contemporary society and politics. This part combines conceptual history a la Koselleck, looking at the evolution of paradigmatic ideas and value systems over time, with discourse and political analysis of the concepts, narratives, images and imaginaries of the crisis. The second part analyses the paradox between the decrease of migration flows and the increase and exacerbation of the migration crisis. This is an emblematic example for the author’s thesis that “If the migration crises did not exist, post-democratic leaders would have invented them”. The third part asks the question how legitimacy, borders, politics and security are reshaped in times of post-democratic crises and examines four major trends the latter interfere with: from a crisis of legitimacy to legitimacy of the crisis; from migration crisis to rebordering; from party politics to symbolic politics; from managing (in)security to mainstreaming securitization.