Reassembling Democracy: Ritual and Cultural Resource

Harvey, Graham; Houseman, Michael; Pike, Sarah and Salomonsen, Jone eds. (2021). Reassembling Democracy: Ritual and Cultural Resource. London: Bloomsbury.




This book is open access and available on It is funded by Knowledge Unlatched.

This book is the result of collaborations between international researchers who have focused on diverse processes of democratic participation-and exclusion-that are intimately involved with ritual acts and complexes. The main question integrating the collection concerns the ways in which the performative qualities of ritual resources achieve their potential as forms of personal and political empowerment in our changing world.

The authors seek to define the key terms “ritual” and “democracy” with reference to fieldwork-informed case studies from selected communities. They critically address democracy as a concept in a time of climate crisis, nationalism, religious re-traditionalizing, fake news and aspirational fascism. Furthermore, they discuss ways in which ritualized practices such as memorial gatherings, festivals, protest actions, pilgrimages and worship services give rise to modes of feeling, processes of representation, and patterns of interaction in which democratic explorations are given pride of place.

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