Funda Ustek-Spilda contributes to the Political and Legal Anthropology blog with Oguz Alyanak from Washington University in St. Louis, with an article titled: “Is it Over? On the Melancholy of Lost Hope”. They address the “melancholy of lost hope” that has set in for many following the recent constitutional referendum in Turkey. Ustek-Spilda and Alyanak note how the recent unfolding events in Turkey can easily turn into a retreat into hopelessness. But they encourage reflexive engagement with this hopelessness instead. “Losing hope in hope itself risks leaving us to wallow in apathy,” they write. They argue that, even in the best of times, hope is insufficient to sustain democracy, for democracy thrives, not just on hope, but on participation. They note there are pockets of opposition and resistance that are even now operating in the wake of the referendum. For the authors, these are not just democratic practices undertaken in hope for a different future, but are themselves a “practicing of hope for democracy.”
The full article can be accessed here.