Citizens are deeply cynical of the actual institutions and exercising of representative democracy, resulting in increased isolation and extremism rather than nuanced public debate and democratic involvement. Three interrelated background conditions led to this inevitable point: the erasure of political citizenship by neoliberalism, the ability of technology (especially social media) to provide perfect filtering, and the resulting fragmenting of civic experience. In this paper we outline a theory of democratic isolation that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, exploited by populist politicians, and ultimately led to the January 6 insurrection.

Title Page-Lorentz & Saks McManaway 2022.docx (14 kB)
Title Page-Democratic Isolation

Lorentz, Kevin SVSU 2021.jpg (1284 kB)
Headshot-Kevin Lorentz

KSM profile photo.jpeg (18 kB)
Headshot-Kim Saks McManaway

Author Biographies--Democratic Isolation.docx (12 kB)
Author Bios-Democratic Isolation