3 June 2021
Sala Europa (Vila Schifanoia) and Zoom
Organizers: Adélie Chevée (MWF RSC), Guadalupe Correa Lopera (MWF ECO), Takumi Shibaike (MWF SPS), Josef Ostransky (MWF LAW)
In her recent book For a Left Populism (2018), the political theorist Chantal Mouffe argued that our contemporary ‘populist moment’ represented an opportunity for democratic reinvigoration through the formation of a ‘left populism’ in the name of radical democracy. Indeed, in the last ten years, several political parties on the left of the political spectrum but also social movements and organizations across the globe have adopted ideas and practices loosely inspired by populist ideologies, such as the absolute refusal of representatives, or calls for a wider use of the referendum.
In this workshop, we will discuss the relationship between populism (understood as a broad political ideology opposing the people versus a corrupt elite) and radical democracy, by exploring various empirical cases of elites, social movements, organizations and institutions which used various forms of democratic experimentations and discourses. Rather than focusing on academic ‘niche’ literature debates, this workshop will include scholars from different disciplinary and empirical backgrounds and aim at fostering a general conversation/reflection on the populist moment and its realization in today’s urgent political phenomena.
We will start with a roundtable on Mouffe’s work and proceed with presentations of ongoing research on empirical cases. We are particularly interested in discussing how ideas of populism and radical democracy differently appear in politics, history, economics, and law. Among other questions, we will ask ourselves: What are the similarities and differences between populism and radical democracy? Can populism and radical democracy cohabit, or are they fundamentally opposed? What are the current theories of populism explaining projects of radical democracy? When and how populist ideology may drive demands for radical democracy? What are the (real and hypothetical) consequences of these demands?