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Tag Archives: Elitism

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez



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 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


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Domenico Losurdo


Thursday, May 05, 2011, 7.30pm

King’s College London, Edmund J. Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS

‘Liberalism: Slavery, imperialism and exploitation’

A panel discussion and book launch for LIBERALISM: A COUNTER-HISTORYwith Domenico Losurdo, Robin Blackburn, Richard Seymour, and chair Stathis Kouvelakis.

Hosted by the KCL European Studies Department in association with Verso Books



DOMENICO LOSURDO is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Urbino, Italy. He is the author of many books in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. In English he has published HEGEL AND THE FREEDOM OF MODERNS and HEIDEGGER AND THE IDEOLOGY OF WAR.

ROBIN BLACKBURN is the author of THE AMERICAN CRUCIBLE: SLAVERY, EMANCIPATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS. He teaches at the University of Essex in the UK and at the New School for Social Research in New York. He is a contributor to NEW LEFT REVIEW and a member of its editorial committee.

RICHARD SEYMOUR is the author of THE LIBERAL DEFENCE OF MURDER. He lives, works and writes in London. He runs the Lenin’s Tomb website, which comments on the War on Terror, Islamophobia and neoliberalism.

STATHIS KOUVELAKIS is the author of PHILSOPHY AND REVOLUTION: FROM KANT TO MARX. He is a Reader in Political Theory at King’s College London.



‘Devastatingly exact in his dismantling of a Whiggish optimism, Losurdo thankfully avoids the historical dead-endism of postmodern critiques.’ Greg Grandin, author of FORDLANDIA

‘Anyone who thinks they know the history of liberalism will be surprised – and riveted – by this book. Every page is an experience.’ Corey Robin, author of FEAR: THE HISTORY OF A POLITICAL IDEA


In this definitive historical investigation of the formation of liberalism from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, Domenico Losurdo overturns complacent and self-congratulatory accounts by showing that, from its very origins, liberalism and its main thinkers—Locke, Burke, Tocqueville, Constant, Bentham, Sieyès and others—have been bound up with the defense of thethoroughly illiberal policies of slavery, colonialism, genocide, racism and elitism. Losurdo probes the inner contradictions of liberalism, also focusing on minority currents that moved to more radical positions, and provides an authoritative account of the relationship between the domestic and colonial spheres in the constitution of a liberal order.


ISBN: 978 1 84467 639 4 / $34.95 / £22.00 / Hardcover / 384 pages


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Academics based outside North America may request an inspection copy – please contact

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‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: (recording) and (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

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