Irokesen und Demokratie. Ein Beitrag zur Soziologie interkultureller Kommunikation
(Kulturelle Identität und politische Selbstbestimmung in der Weltgesellschaft 10)
Münster: Lit Verlag 2004
398 pp., Euro 29.90; ISBN 3-8258-6845-1

Iroquois and democracy. A contribution to the sociology of intercultural communication
Wagner tries to clarify the question of whether ideas in Iroquois culture have inspired the constitution of the USA and describes an Iroquois "egalitarian consensus democracy", a "regulated anarchy". The chapters deal with this ’regulated anarchy´, structural features of diplomatic institutions of the Indians´ diplomacy in the 17th and 18th centuries, then the history and processes from the Mohawks via the ’Tea Party´ to the ’matriarchy´ of the suffragettes (the Indian heritage in the framework of Republican foundation myths of the 18th and 19th centuries). Chapter 5 describes images of Indians in early American political theory, and the genesis of the federal constitution, and chapter 6 ­ under the motto of "Going traditional" deals with ethno-nationalism and the culture in the reservations. The debate among historians of whether Iroquois ideas have influenced the American Constitution is seen in the light of a ’combat of cultures´ ­ over the dominance of interpretation. The last chapter discusses ’institutions without rule´ in a world society. The book had started with the exemplary myth of the "Deganawidah" narrative and ends with ist discussion in the light of Hannah Arendt´s political theory.

Keywords: Deganawidah narrative, Iroquois and democracy, democracy and Iroquois, Constitution (USA), egalitarian consensus democracy, regulated anarchy, anarchy and democracy, Arendt, H., cultural memory, memory and culture