For my senior degree project from the University of the Arts, I chose to edit, rewrite, annotate, and then (re-)design parts of Fareed Zakaria’s Rise of Illiberal Democracy, an essay critical of the notion that all democracies are good, i.e. liberal. Instead, he posits that not all democracies need be constitutionally liberal in nature, and so can instead be fundamentally unfair to minorities or other marginalised groups.
I complemented the text with data and anecdotes from throughout history, e.g. the rise of the Nazis in 1930s century Germany through to the then contemporary post-election violence in Kenya. Alongside of the essay’s text, I wove in fragments from Things Fall Apart by China Achebe to highlight the imposition of constitutional liberalism on native societies through imperial means by arguably constitutionally liberal Western democracies.
The first portion of the project involved reading, editing, and rewriting sections of text. I accomplished that over the autumn and winter of the final year. Then in spring I began to structure the text and then lay it out to find where design elements could be added to emphasise key points or help in pacing.
My project was entered into the senior thesis juried gallery alongside the rest of the class. For my project, I won a citation of excellence.