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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Anthropologists confront the illiberal predicament (Commission on Global Transformations and Marxian Anthropology)


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 28 Aug 11:00 - 15:30


Room 1.44

Lots has been written about the upsurge of populist and neonationalist politics in the Global North – and parts of the Global South (and Global East). Neoliberal globalization, “dead but dominant” (Neil Smith) a decade ago, is producing its own nemesis in a slow motion collapse. The collapse is not driven by the Left alter-globalism of the early 21stcentury. We see powerful new Right wing forces and illiberal popular developments that appear either repetitions of earlier authoritarian populisms or may look as new hybrid left-right illiberalisms. The collapse is threatening to take established political frameworks, old party systems, and systems of international relations down with it. The EU is fracturing along regional lines and the domestic alliances that have been supportive of it are cracking. Of course, everything is contested fiercely and countercurrents seem at some places to be gaining strength at the same time. Volatility rules. What has anthropology to offer in terms of analysis, comparison, and intellectual support for those concerned about equality, democracy, global peace and the environment? Which analyses can we offer our colleagues in post socialist Central and Eastern Europe, a region that has been generating some of the most electorally powerful illiberalisms. What can others learn from them? Which role do force fields of capital, class, gender, ethnicity, the nation and religion play in the generation, contestation, and further consolidation of these authoritarian populisms and avowed illiberalisms?


  • P 6.1
    • Dr. Kalb, Don (University of Bergen, Utrecht University)
    • Dr. Susser, Ida (CUNY)
  • P 6.2
    • Dr. Kalb, Don (University of Bergen, Utrecht University)
    • Dr. Susser, Ida (CUNY)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 9 contributions out of 9
The great purge"" has been a word that is coined to refer to the 1930s purges that took place across Europe, especially in Stalinist Russia. The 1930s are today also invoked to make sense of the ongoing ""crisis"" liberal-democracy, neoliberal capitalism, and the rise of authoritarian nationalist populisms in the East/South and the North. In conversation with these invocations of the 1930s, my pap ... More
Presented by Saygun GOKARIKSEL on 28/8/2019 at 12:25
This paper examines the role that various forms of dispossession – economic, political, social – play in the making and possibly unmaking of authoritarian populism in Turkey. Turkey in the last decade was characterized by a revaluation of social-political relations and established hierarchies, based on a claim of diametrically opposed values in the population, which went hand in hand with the ... More
Presented by Dr. Katharina BODIRSKY on 28/8/2019 at 14:45
Moral outrage over the rise of the far-right has often started from the premise that we ought to consider the ‘illiberalism’ of voter-choices: the choices of the supposedly mal-informed, bigoted and even racist citizen-voter. Similarly, within the anthropology of the populist moment, the lens of analysis has often been centred on the structures of feelings and sentiments of those who feel left ... More
Presented by Dr. Insa KOCH on 28/8/2019 at 9:20
The postsocialist transformation in Central Europe was not a unilinear process that has led away from the authoritarian system to democratic rules granting individual freedoms. The argument is made that the social exclusion based on class order established thanks to the existing ‘global hierarchy of value’ and cultural hegemony played an important role in shaping postsocialist processes. In th ... More
Presented by Prof. Michał BUCHOWSKI on 28/8/2019 at 13:45
In the last years scholars and the wider public have focused on the authoritarian features of illiberal regimes. While an attention to practices that marginalize, discipline and control dissenting social groups and oppositional forces is warranted, I find the case for authoritarianism overstated and the use of umbrella terms like ‘authoritarian neoliberalism’ potentially problematic. Coercion ... More
Presented by Dr. Kristof SZOMBATI on 28/8/2019 at 14:05
Nearly for a decade, we are witnessing an uneven rise of authoritarian politics on a planetary scale. On the other hand, opposition is clumsy and disconcerting. In the face of deepening crisis of capitalism, this paper discusses the success of authoritarian politics as the failure of left and workers movement rather the opposite. This failure has been posited as the coupling of two illusions respe ... More
Presented by Aykut KILIC on 28/8/2019 at 10:00
In Europe, traditional political parties have been challenged and reconfigured while in some cases new parties have been constructed both on the left and the right more rapidly than at any time in the post World War II era. Polarization between the right and the left is increasing and long held social values are being contested. There has been much analysis of changing global relations and politic ... More
Presented by Dr. Ida SUSSER on 28/8/2019 at 9:00
The concept of “authoritarian neoliberalism” has gained currency recently to gloss the anti-democratic reconfiguration of governing practices in the wake of the 2007-2008 global economic meltdown (Bruff 2013). In my paper, I want to consider the extent to which this term is useful for getting at what exactly is going on in the United States in the current conjuncture. Specifically, I want to c ... More
Presented by Dr. Jeff MASKOVSKY on 28/8/2019 at 9:40
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