Senior Fellow, Human Rights, Constitutional Politics, and Religious Diversity; Lichtenberg Kolleg, Göttingen Institute of Advanced Study
(April – June 2019)
The Gravity of Truth: Disenchantment, Disappointment, Democracy
As an activity that claims that the right to appear in public is fundamental to it, democratic politics is paradoxical for its nearly juridical attachment to the notion of privacy. So much so that deceptions of the state and mysteries of sovereign power—arcana imperii— can only be constrained, it is believed, by reclaiming a people’s own liberty to conceal, by protecting the citizen’s right to silence, by acts of seditious courage and will to secrecy itself as a people’s legitimate counter-power against authority. Engaging Indian and Atlantic political thought, this project examines the genealogy of this democratic paradox and its global consequences.