Preface: Opting Out Introduction: Thinking Out Loud Lecture One: Democracy's Necessary Conditions Lecture Two: Care and Concern: Arendt with Winnicott Lecture Three: Hope and Play: Lear and von Trier Epilogue: Public Things, Shared Space, and the Commons Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index
Bonnie Honig is Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media (MCM) and Political Science at Brown University. She is also Affiliated Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation, Chicago. Her most recent books are Antigone, Interrupted; Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy; and, as co-editor, Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier.
Although, on the surface, the title "Public Things" is just a routine translation of the Latin res publica, Honig injects into the phrase a radical twist which exposes the "disrepair" of contemporary democratic politics. Although upholding the need for publicly shared concerns, her book also launches an indictment: namely, that increasingly such concerns are reified and objectified and thereby transformed into targets for individual or corporate appropriation. * Global-E, UC Santa Barbara * "A fast-paced tour de force. Honig explores the role of public things in democratic politics, especially against the background of neoliberal privatization." -- -John Seery * George Irving Thompson Memorial Professor of Government and Professor of Politics, Pomona College * Public Things like the Postal Service have long been under attack, as political theorist Bonnie Honig powerfully argues in the publication of a series of lectures on "democracy in disrepair." Writing against the culture of "opting out" of public services, spaces, and systems, Honig defends public infrastructures as the things that bind people together, the very things democracy is made of. * Urban Omnibus * "illuminat[es] the need for public things in democratic life when the political economy deprives us of such things. Honig's arguments and lively prose are compelling and make a convincing plea to shift the gaze away from the iPhone towards the fragile public infrastructure-parks, subways, bridges-around us. -- Irena Rosenthal * Contemporary Political Theory *