Potentia: Hobbes and Spinoza on Power and Popular Politics [online]
Sandra Leonie Field (Yale-NUS College)

April 13, 2021, 11:00am - 12:00pm

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Radical democrats--whether drawing on Thomas Hobbes’ “sleeping sovereign” or on Benedict de Spinoza's “multitude”--understand popular power as moments transcending ordinary institutional politics (e.g. popular plebsites or mass movements). However, in my new book, Potentia, I argue that the political writings of Hobbes and Spinoza offer a rather different conceptual framework for understanding the genesis, risks, and promise of popular power. A focus on the concept of power as potentia generates a new approach to popular power, according to which its true center lies in the slow, meticulous work of organizational design and maintenance.   To accommodate audience members not fluent in English, I will provide and follow a written version of the talk.   Presentation hosted by Research Group 'Republics, Rights, and States of Law: Theoretical and Historical Genesis and its Impact on the Contemporary Political Debate in Latin America'; El Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).  

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