Amerikastudien / American Studies. A Quarterly. Vol. 66:1 (2021)

Common Grounds? American Democracy after Trump

This special issue brings together renowned scholars from a range of disciplines to examine the legacy of Donald Trump’s presidency in a wide variety of contexts. In the form of short contributions (essays, poems, and interviews), the authors from both sides of the Atlantic probe how this presidency has crystallized, once again, histories of injustice and inequality that still characterize the current state of U.S. democracy.

How do enslavement and settler colonialism continue to impact the democratic order? In what ways can the master narrative of American liberal democracy be reconceptualized along intersecting lines of race, gender, class, sexuality, and ecology? How does the outcome of the 2020 elections change domestic and international political agendas? Can a new, more equitable social contract be negotiated and a “common ground” be recovered and re-invented—and at what cost? Or, as some voices seem to suggest, should it be abandoned altogether, in order to avoid wishful thinking and, worse, hypocrisy?