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Amir Fleischmann

Political Theory

Dissertation Title: "Level and Rule: Democracy as Threat"

Committee: Lisa Disch (chair); David Temin; Don Herzog; Elizabeth Anderson

Summary: My project responds to the fears that pre-modern theorists of democracy had towards this system of governance and seeks to articulate a vision of democracy that lives up to Aristotle’s definition of “a constitution under which the poor rule.” My research asks what has changed in the way political theorists understand democracy such that it has lost its threatening edge and which aspects of this older conception of democracy should democratic theory try to recover. By engaging with texts from historical and contemporary democratic theory, I argue that democratic theorists ought to return to understanding the democratic threat as coercive power wielded in the sectional interest of the disempowered many against the empowered few. For more information, please visit