Politics of Imagination



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Tartu Ülikool


In a democratic society where elections are held to decide the holders of political office or referendums formulated to get a majority vote on national issues, the ability to get the most votes from eligible citizens remains a primary concern of politicians. I put forward the view that factual information alone is not enough to motivate voters. There is a need to consider the influence of the imagination on voting behaviour. This thesis is first an attempt to locate the imagination within the political sphere, and examine how political behaviour can be influenced through the imagination. The 2016 Brexit Referendum will be the example used to analyse how the imagination plays an important part in politics. If one desires to have a good understanding on voting behaviour, a theory that includes the imagination should be considered. Thus I argue for adopting the conceptual framework of David Hume over the standard rational choice theory in providing a framework of how imagination can influence voter behaviour, and at the same time, provide a framework towards my conception of the politics of imagination.



democracy, imagined communities, rationality, Brexit Referendum, David Hume