A hearty congratulations to Dr Hans Asenbaum from the Centre for his new (open access) publication with Oxford University Press, The Politics of Becoming – Anonymity and Democracy in the Digital Age. The book focuses on practical solutions to the problems of discrimination and identity confinement in political participation. Throughout the book, Dr Asenbaum hopes to facilitate an interdisciplinary exchange between different academic disciplines and different strands of democratic theory.
Dr Asenbaum has been intrigued by questions about participatory and radical democracy for a long time. In particular, the role of our identities and how when come together to do politics, we judge each other on our looks. With a desire to understand and question this, Dr Asenbaum developed a curiosity about the role of anonymity in democracy. He purposefully asks, ‘What happens if we can't tell each other's race, gender, sexuality, class, age etc.?’ He began exploring this question at the University of Westminster during his PhD, under the supervision of Professor Graham Smith. The result of this investigation is his new book: ‘The Politics of Becoming’, which provides an in-depth analysis and theorization of anonymity in democratic participation.
When asked about the journey to this point, an elated Dr Asenbaum remarked “my thesis builds the foundation for this book, and it has been a 10-year process from initiation to publication. It has been quite a journey, and I could not be happier about the result and the wonderful people I met on the way and who are all part of this project.”