Despite the concept’s widespread use, we lack a clear picture of what post-democracy actually means. While some use the term in a highly technical sense, others use it to simply point out insufficiently democratic conditions. In hopes of facilitating a more sustained and productive conversation, this chapter develops a general theory of post-democracy. Drawing upon the work of Jacques Rancière, Colin Crouch, Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermas, Sheldon Wolin, and others, this chapter defines post-democracy as a political context in which failed democratic institutions persist alongside a hegemonic democratic political imaginary. In short, the paradoxical coexistence of a democratic culture and a non-democratic state. This chapter then explores the theoretical implications of the absence of both popular sovereignty and political equality in a context that continues to celebrate them, describing the way in which mass political powerlessness should affect citizens’ understandings of legitimacy, membership, responsibility, and culpability.