'Democracy: The Long Revolution' with Powell, D., published by Continuum, 2007. ISBN: 0826486762
Hickey and Powell’s edited collection of essays by leading historians of the field and experts in their period traces the history of the struggle for democracy in Britain through some of its signal moments, from Magna Carta, through Chartism and women’s emancipation, to the challenges of globalisation. The last concern emerges from a series of biennial international conferences on Globalisation and its Discontents 1 and 2 (2001, 2003) and Globalisation and Representation (2005) held at the University of Brighton.
Hickey and Powell’s introduction problematises the concept of democracy, argues for a historical grounding of all political debate, further proposing that, as the history reflected in this collection demonstrates, democracy has never been simply about processes but always concerned with outcomes and interests. Representation, in this political sense, has, therefore, always been about the self-representation of individuals and social groups in their imaginations: the self-perceptions and the self-representations of the people have constituted the ground on which arguments for political representations have been developed.
Hickey’s single-authored culminating chapter addresses the issues of national identity, cosmopolitan democracy and globalisation. In it he takes issue with the advocacy of political processes beyond the nation state as being practically infeasible and oblivious to the centrality of culture and tradition in the formation of, and engagement in, any form of democracy. Cosmopolitanism is counterposed to political internationalism, the invocations of Immanuel Kant notwithstanding.
Substantive chapters were contributed by leading historians of the field and experts in their period: Colin Richmond on Magna Carta, Willy Lamont on the English Revolution, John Charlton on Chartism, John Newsinger on 19th-century colonialism, David Powell on the formation of the Labour Party, Gill Scott on women’s emancipation, Paddy Maguire on the postwar Labour Government, Tony Benn on Thatcherism and Blairism, and Hickey on cosmopolitan democracy.