Recently, interest in radical democracy and communism has increased dramatically among cultural theorists. This paper draws attention to two other fields in which a similar shift is visible. First, popular scholarly writing on communism, anarchism and socialism. Second, curricular materials for history teaching. Drawing on ethnographic field work at an educational publishing house in Germany, the paper analyses the production of a history textbook. Analysis identifies ambiguities and tensions in the way forms of political organisation and practice are discussed and changes made. One change involves the subtle revalorization of the 1918 revolution and the early days of the Weimar Republic, which could be considered an attempt at shaping a ‘radical democracy’. The study contributes to emerging work on discourse and social change which aims to not only critique dominant discourse but also explore fissures in hegemonic formations. By analysing the production of these history materials, we explore competing discursive possibilities – ways of understanding and enacting democracy – circulating today.
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[no author supplied]
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