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Tuesday, 16 February 2016, 5-7PM

Tariq Ali (writer, filmmaker and editor of New Left Review)

The Extreme Centre: How the Neoliberal Project Has Reshaped the World  

BGLT (SOAS, Brunei Gallery), Bloomsbury, London

Discussant: Dr Feyzi Ismail (SOAS)

Abstract: Since 1989, politics has become a contest to see which politicians can best serve the needs of the market. The result is always the same: a victory for the Extreme Centre. The same catastrophe has taken place in the US, Britain, Continental Europe and Australia. In this urgent and wide-ranging case for the prosecution, Tariq Ali looks at the people and the events that have informed this moment of political suicide: corruption in Westminster; the failures of the EU and NATO; the soft power of the American Empire that dominates the world stage uncontested. Despite this inertia, Ali goes in search of alternative futures, finding promise in the Bolivarian revolutions of Latin America and the edges of Europe. Emerging parties in Scotland, Greece and Spain, formed out of the 2008 crisis, as well as Corbynism in Britain, are offering new hope for democracy.

Tariq Ali has been a leading figure on the international left since the 60s, having engaged in debates against the Vietnam War with leading politicians of the time. He has written extensively on world history and politics; his works include The Obama Syndrome, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and his most recent publication, The Extreme Centre: A Warning. Described by the Observer as an ‘intellectual bomb thrower’ his contributions extend to film and theatre scripts, novels and published conversations, such as with Edward Said. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and contributes to magazines and newspapers including The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

All welcome, no need to book. Seating is available on a first come, first served, basis so please arrive early to be sure of a seat.

On behalf of the seminar organising committee: Alfredo Saad-Filho, Feyzi Ismail, Jo Tomkinson, Carolina Alves, Lorenza Monaco and Jai Bhatia

Further details of all the seminars are available on the SOAS Development Studies Department website:

First Published in


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