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Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

THE PEOPLE AGAINST THE ELITES CONFERENCE

CALL FOR PAPERS

The People Against the Elites: Conference on Populism in Latin America and Europe / Friday 16th of May / University of Bath, UK

Politics in times of economic crises puts the conceptual notion and socio-political dynamics of populism back into de agenda. The rise of extreme right-wing parties advancing a xenophobic and anti-immigration rhetoric is challenging the ideological centre governing the dominant political parties across Europe. Social movements like Occupy London or the indignados resisting the mainstream response to the economic crises have tended to express their demands from the margins of traditional political institutions if not opposing electoral politics altogether. In Latin America, opposition to the ‘Washington Consensus’ gave rise to left-wing coalitions in Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. These governments forged strategic alliances with social movement organisations and introduced inclusive and participatory institutions leading to the deepening of democracy for some and the disruption of the democratic order, for others.

The question lying underneath these multiple forms of contestation on both side of the Atlantic refer to the sovereignty of the people that stands in tension with ideas of citizenship established by the Constitutional-liberal canon. As a consequence, the frontiers delimiting populism, democracy and the enactment of the people become contentious. In itself the emergence of a movement claiming to mobilise ‘the people’ is seen as a pathological symptom, for some, or essential for democracy to restore its true meaning, for others.  An open discussion that relates theoretical problems to empirical puzzles in a cross-regional perspective is thus critical to understanding the nature of contemporary transformations in the political order. 

In the light of this debate the conference has three interconnected aims: a) to discuss theoretical innovations around the notion of populism; b) to apply this reasoning to case studies in Europe and/or Latin America and c) to compare and contrast European and Latin American experiences. 

Please send a 250-word abstract and your contact details to Dr Juan Pablo Ferrero J.P.Ferrero@bath.ac.uk by 4th April 2014.

Keynote speaker: Professor Yannis Stavrakakis (School of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). Director of the EU funded research project POPULISMUS: populist discourse and democracy.

Dr Juan Pablo Ferrero

Lecturer in Latin American Studies

Politics, Languages and International Studies

University of Bath

Bath BA2 7AY, UK

+44 01225 385268

1 West North 4.37b

Socialism and Hope

Socialism and Hope

**END**

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