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We, the City Conference: Opening Keynote Lecture by Erik Swyngedouw

2. November 2022 @ 18:30 - 21:30

Illiberalism and the Democratic Paradox: Emancipation reworked and the post-politicization of the city

The main trust the presentation unfolds around the impasse of democratic politics today, marked by the fading belief in the presumably superior architecture of liberal democratic institutions to nurture emancipation on the one hand, and the seemingly inexorable rise of a variety of populist political movements on the other. The first part of the presentation focuses on the lure of autocratic populism. The second part considers how transforming urban neoliberal governance arrangements pioneered post-truth autocratic politics/policies in articulation with the imposition of market rule and, in doing so, cleared the way for contemporary illiberal populisms. The third part considers the institutional configuration through which the democratic has been fundamentally transformed over the past few decades in the direction of a post democratic constellation. The presentation concludes by arguing for the need to re-script emancipation as a process of urban political subjectivation unfolding through a political act.


2. November 2022
18:30 - 21:30


Center for Comparative Research on Democracy (CCRD)