“Transformations of Work and Democratic Decay.” European Journal of Political Theory, (August 2021).

Abstract: Democracies worldwide are under stress. Two distinct families of explanation can be identified by the relative emphasis they place on the cultural versus the economic. Protesting against this dichotomy, there are those who insist that economic and cultural grievances interact. A conceptual scheme which ties together the economic and the cultural through interaction, however, rests on a prior separation. In this article, a richer and more plausible account of the relationship between transformations of work and contemporary democratic decay is developed. This account is based on a social practice model of work, on which the economic and the cultural are entirely intertwined. The social practice of work is among other things a privileged site for the realisation of certain ‘goods of work’. These include self-respect, self-esteem, and self-realisation. It is by altering expectations about the realisation of the goods of work that transformations of work have contributed to an environment within which democracies are under stress.