Politics without a Head: Is the “Love Parade” a New Form of Political Identification?

Essay Excerpt

This article addresses the nature of late-20th-century political identification and its relation to religiosity. Our focus will be on Germany's Love Parade, and we use ostensibly similar festivals in the United States to set the German example in relief. We argue that certain processes in postwar Germany, such as the definition of "the people" and displacement of the site of "traditional politics," support a form of acephalic authority, elements of which can be found in other democracies, though in less extreme form. We suggest that these contemporary processes relegate "traditional politics" to a marginal role and reconstitute the political field in a new way (p. 296).

From: Borneman, John and Senders, Stefan. "Politics without a Head: Is the “Love Parade” a New Form of Political Identification?" Cultural Anthropology 15(2000): 294–317.

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