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Tag Archives: Liberal democracy

David Harvey

SPACES OF DEMOCRACY EVENTS: DAVID HARVEY, DOREEN MASSEY, ANANYA ROY

Please see below for details of FIVE forthcoming, present and related Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space events:-

1] A one day workshop centred around a debate between DOREEN MASSEY and DAVID HARVEY, Friday 19th November, organised by Chantal Mouffe (node Director at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster). (further details forthcoming).

2] ANANYA ROY ON POVERTY, DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP: A micro-seminar on the research and activism of ANANYA ROY (organised by Katharyne Mitchell, node Director, University of Washington) and Victoria Lawson at University of Washington).

This includes a public lecture by Ananya Roy: Monday, Oct 11, 6:00pm, Kane Hall; a preliminary seminar on Friday, Oct 8, 2:30 – 5:20pm, CMU 202 and a concluding seminar on Tuesday, Oct 12, 3:30 – 5:20pm, CMU 202 where there will be a discussion of intersections between public lecture, Roy’s publications and her public activism and scholarship.

3] A FILM is being made on NEOLIBERALISING INDIAN CITIES with Director of the South Asia Node of the Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space network, Swapna Banerjee-Guha, from the School of Social Sciences, TISS, India. (further details forthcoming).

4] The book WHAT IS RADICAL POLITICS TODAY? (2009) Palgrave-MacMillan, edited by Jonathan Pugh, Newcastle University, is now available for £10 at some bookstores.

A crisis makes you re-think your life. The recent economic crisis is no exception. All of us are now thinking how the world could be run differently. Despite this, a radical alternative has hardly emerged to mobilise the masses, which begs the question: What is radical politics today? In this book, leading academics, politicians, journalists and activists attempt to pinpoint an answer, debating the issues facing radical politics in the 21st Century. Rarely united in their opinions, they collectively interogate the character and spirit of being radical in our times.

Including original contributions from Zygmunt Bauman, Will Hutton, Frank Furedi, Clare Short, Ken Worpole, Nick Cohen, Hilary Wainwright, Paul Kingsnorth, Chantal Mouffe, Terrell Carver, Edward W. Soja, David Chandler, Dora Apel, Doreen Massey, Jason Toynbee, James Martin, Michael J. Watts, Jeremy Gilbert and Jo Littler, Gregor McLennan, Tariq Modood, Amir Saeed & David Bates, Alastair Bonnett, Nigel Thrift, Sheila Jasanoff, Saul Newman, David Featherstone, James Heartfield, Alejandro Colás and Jason Edwards, David Boyle, Saskia Sassen.”

* Explores the spirit and character of radical politics, at this pivotal moment in history.

* Thirty well known and influential commentators write original 3000 word essays.

* Offers thought provoking and often conflicting opinions.

* The only current wide ranging survey of the state of radical politics, post-crisis.

* Accessibly written for the general public and student audiences.

Recent reviews include:

“Provocative, authoritative and timely …” (New Statesman)

“This stimulating and impressively diverse collection of essays helps us to begin re-thinking our predicament. Anyone who finds themselves in agreement with all the authors here must be seriously confused, since several of the pieces offer directly contradictory analyses. But the strength of the book as a whole lies precisely in bringing different political traditions into productive dialogue” (Red Pepper)

“Jonathan Pugh gathers some of the most innovative and insightful voices from Britain and beyond to stage a series of debates on the central issues facing radical politics today.  This collection is a model for the kinds of discussion we need to move forward.” Michael Hardt (Duke University).

“This is a bold, brave and timely book. As we emerge, blinking into the light after three decades of neo-liberal darkness, Jonathan Pugh has put together a collection of essays that will provoke and provide clues to the question of what comes next; what indeed is radical politics today?” Neal Lawson (Director, Compass).

“This timely and well-planned collection of essays by distinguished and concerned scholars throws much new light on where we should be looking for new ideas. It represents a major contribution to the ongoing debate on the problems of our times.” Lord Bhikhu Parekh

5] A number of participants in the network have also contributed to the following special issue of the journal GLOBALIZATIONS

Special Issue: Globalization and Crisis
Volume 7, Issue 1-2, April 2010

This special issue of Globalizations consists of a set of analyses provided by leading international scholars in the field of both the theoretical and the practical relationship between ‘globalization’ – as each contributor interprets this concept – and ‘crisis’ both historically and in the present context i.e. the most severe global systemic crisis for a century. The articles are intended to provide substantial analytical critique, and contribute to the development of new
understandings of globalization.

Contributors: Editor:

Barry K. Gills, Newcastle University, UK
Foreword: ‘Fair Globalization in Crisis’
Mrs Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
Saskia Sassen
Walden Bello
Grahame Thompson
Ankie Hoogvelt
Henry Veltmeyer
Richard Falk
Craig N. Murphy
V. Spike Peterson
Mustapha Kamal Pasha
Heikki Patomaki
James H. Mittelman
Barry K. Gills
Francois Houtart
Susan George
Wazir Jahan Karim
M. Scott Solomon
Ronaldo Munck
Andreas Bieler
Ingemar Lindberg
Werner Sauerborn
Samir Amin
Jonathan Pugh
Nick Buxton
Gemma Bone

END

For “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network website: http://www.spaceofdemocracy.org/

For Radical Politics Today magazine: http://www.spaceofdemocracy.org/resources/publications/magazine/magazine.html

For more on the book What is radical politics today?, published in 2009 by Palgrave MacMillan: http://www.spaceofdemocracy.org/resources/resources_bookstoread.html

Jonathan Pugh
Senior Academic Fellow
Director “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
5th Floor Daysh Building
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 7RU
United Kingdom
Honorary Fellow, The Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster

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Fanaticism

FANATICISM

On the Uses of an Idea

By ALBERTO TOSCANO

Published 7h June 2010

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EVENTS:

Thursday 3 June, 1pm at the RSA, London: A special introduction to Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea. For more information and book your free place: http://www.thersa.org/events/our-events/fanaticism-on-the-uses-of-an-idea

Friday 2 July, 2-3.30pm at the Marxism 2010 Festival in London, Room 3E at ULU, 2-3.30. For more information and to book:  https://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2010/bookonline.html

Thursday 8 July, 6.45pm: Launch talk at the ICA. Further details to be announced here: http://www.ica.org.uk/7945/Talks/Talks-listings.html

Monday 11 October, 6.30 -8.00pm at the LSE, Wolfson theatre as part of the Forum for European Philosophy talks. Further details to be announced here:http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/forumForEuropeanPhilosophy/events/Default.htm

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“A tour de force in every sense – Toscano wipes the smug smiles off the self-righteous faces of the New Philosophers.” Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

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Fanaticism is usually seen as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs. Drawing a straight line from the Peasant Wars to Bolshevism, this view of fanaticism is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano’s compelling counter-history explores the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state, and undermines the idea that liberalism and fanaticism are irrevocably opposed. 

Tracing its development from the traumatic Peasants’ War of early sixteenth-century Germany, to contemporary Islamism, Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of “reasonableness” and fanaticism. Instead, in a radical new interpretation, he places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of its role. Showing how fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism.

The ‘fanatic’ is the figure that we are all scared of – whether it’s the Islamic fundamentalist primed for a suicide bombing or the Christian anti-abortionist planning to murder a doctor. The fanatic is a whirl of contradictions: at once cold-blooded and insanely passionate, opportunistic but principled, backward and yet technologically sophisticated, murderous and prepared to risk everything to human rights. He or she is driven by abstract principles, whether religious or secular, that threaten the very basis of a pragmatic liberal democracy. But are these oppositions really the way to understand the conflict between religion and state, terror and democracy?

In this tour de force examination of political and philosophical rhetoric through the ages, Alberto Toscano examines the use of the term ‘fanatic’. Following its use by Martin Luther in the Reformation, the rationalists in the Enlightenment, and liberals in the Cold War and the present day, he finds our understanding of it dictated by the prejudices of the day.

Toscano argues that there is an unsettling intimacy between political behaviour regarded as fanatical, and rational, emancipatory politics: supposedly liberal political projects are also marked by fanaticism. Moreover, while a liberal would claim that passion and abstract principles (such as universal rights) are the jurisdiction of the fanatic and have no place in rational politics, we should seek to reclaim a place for these supposedly negative terms at the heart of contemporary politics. For example, finding that nineteenth century slavers called abolitionists fanatics for their ‘mad’ adherence to the Rights of Man, he asks us to reconsider who we regard as a fanatic.

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ALBERTO TOSCANO is a lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Theatre of Production, translator of Alain Badiou’s The Century and Logics of Worlds and co-editor of, among others, Alain Badiou’s Theoretical Writings and Antonio Negri’s Political Descartes. He has published numerous articles on contemporary philosophy, politics and social theory, and is an editor of Historical Materialism.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 424 4 / $26.95 / £16.99 / CAN$33.50 / 304 pages

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For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/tuvwxyz/tuv-titles/toscano_alberto_fanaticism.shtml

To buy the book in the UK:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844674244/Fanaticism

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fanaticism-Uses-Idea-Alberto-Toscano/dp/184467424X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273744261&sr=8-1

To buy the book in the US:

http://www.amazon.com/Fanaticism-Uses-Idea-Alberto-Toscano/dp/184467424X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273744586&sr=1-1

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Visit Verso’s new blog for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers. http://versouk.wordpress.com/

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Rethinking Democracy Promotion in the Post-Bush Era

 

Symposium

‘Rethinking Democracy Promotion in the Post-Bush Era: Lessons from Political Theory’

International Politics Department, Aberystwyth University

21st May, 2009

9am-4pm

 

An event organised by ‘Political Economies of Democratisation’ – a project funded by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme, 2007-2013

 

By framing and justifying many contentious policies during ‘the War on Terror’ in reference to the defence and extension of democracy, the actions of the Bush administration had negative consequences for the larger democracy promotion agenda. The concerted effort by President Obama to break with the policies of his predecessor now opens up space for a rethinking of democracy promotion practices. In considering and responding to recent problems, it is necessary to go beyond policy calibration, however, and address more fundamental issues. Specifically, there is a pressing need to reconsider the concept of ‘democracy’ in democracy promotion. Yet, it is curious that while debate continues to rage in political theory over what democracy does, can and should mean, such questions are largely ignored when it comes to democracy promotion.

 

This symposium will bring together a number of leading thinkers in international relations and political science to discuss how political theory and thought on radically different models or visions of democracy can be integrated into the consideration and practice of democracy promotion. The symposium seeks to reconsider the role of the currently dominant liberal-democratic tradition of thought in democracy promotion, as well as explore other possible democratic models and alternatives in relation to the idea of democracy promotion. The distinguished speakers at the event include: Prof. John Keane, Prof. Magnus Ryner, Dr. Beate Jahn, Prof. Heikki Patomaki, Prof. Robin Hahnel (in absentia), Prof. Michael Foley and Prof. Howard Williams.

 

Attendance is free but attendees are asked to email Milja Kurki (mlk@aber.ac.uk) to inform the organisers of intent to attend. Please note that all views expressed by the contributors and participants at the event are those of the individuals who express them and may not correspond to the views of the European Community.

 

Preliminary programme:

 

9.00-9.15 Introductory comments – Milja Kurki

 

9.15-10.45 Session 1. Liberal democracy and liberal democracy promotion (re)considered – Dr. Beate Jahn, Prof. Howard Williams, Christopher Hobson

 

11.00-12.30 Session 2. Lessons from alternative traditions of democratic thought – Prof. Magnus Ryner, Prof. Heikki Patomaki, Prof. Robin Hahnel

 

13.30-15.00 Session 3. Transformations of democracy since 1945 and the future of democracy – Prof. John Keane, Prof. Michael Foley

 

15.10-4.00pm Concluding session. Democratic theory and democracy promotion today – reflections on future directions

 

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