Populism and Constructing a People

June 2, 2017 - June 3, 2017
University of Essex

University of Essex
United Kingdom

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Populism and ‘Constructing a People’
Ideology and Discourse Analysis International Conference 2017
2nd – 3rd June 2017

[Call for Abstracts]
Deadline: 22nd April 2017
Contact: IDAconference2017@gmail.com
Facebook : www.fb.com/IDACON2017

William E. Connolly (Johns Hopkins University)
Confirmed Speakers:
Jorge Lago (PODEMOS)
Jane Bennet (John Hopkins University)
Aletta Norval (University of Essex)
David Howarth (University of Essex)
Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College London)
Mark Devenney (University of Brighton)
“The construction of the ‘people’ is the political act par excellence”
––Ernesto Laclau
In these turbulent and divisive times, democratic societies face a series of emerging problems: increasing opposition to globalization; the legitimacy crisis of the European Union qua the electoral success of anti-establishment and populist politics; the resurgence of nationalism and an accompanying rise in violence towards women, ethnic and religious minorities; unprecedented migrant and refugee geographic displacements; skepticism towards democratic and parliamentary institutions; challenges to neoliberal hegemony, to name a few. In 2016, a shocking and unpredictable year for international politics, the global democratic polity witnessed a drastic set of changes and upheavals.  In light of these developments, how can perspectives from different disciplines offer new insights and analytical tools that successfully thematize current manifestations of ‘the political’?
Ernesto Laclau, founder of the Ideology and Discourse Analysis (IDA) programme at the University of Essex, argued that the creation of any truly political project necessarily involves the symbolic construction of a ‘people’. In this articulatory practice, a heterogeneous set of demands are unified together into equivalential chains; antagonistic frontiers that constitute the terrain of ‘the political’. Might this theoretical logic offer a tool to analyse current political events and lay the ground for alternative political projects? Or do such claims merely represent what Slavoj Žižek once pejoratively referred to as the ‘populist temptation’?
At this conference, we intend to set up a meeting place for academics, activists, students and the public to debate the form, content and theoretical underpinnings of conventional and alternative political projects, particularly with reference to various competing notions of the term ‘populism’.
We welcome 15-minute presentations with abstracts of 250-300 words (max.) in the fields of philosophy, political theory, political science, psychoanalysis, sociology, and cultural studies related to:
Populism · Radical Democracy · Post-Structuralist Discourse theory · Radical Politics · New Social Movements (NSMs) · Feminism(s) · Cognitive/Affective theory · Rhetoric · Critique(s) of Neoliberalism · Media and Political Communication
Attendees are welcome to join for one or both of the 2 days of the conference. A free social will be held on the evening of the first day (2nd June).
Attendance is free however a secured place can be reserved.
Ticket link Day 1 (Free) : http://bit.ly/2lvHNu3
Ticket link Day 2 (Free) : http://bit.ly/2kwxY0C

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