Critique in the Age of Populism 2018-2020

CfP: Contemporary problems and possibilities of social critique

Symposium, 23-25th of February, 2018, at University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society

Organized by Nordic Summer University (NSU) and Centre for Anthropological, Political and Social Theory (CAPS).

The current growth and coming to power of populist movements in different parts of the world has severely changed the possibilities of making effective social critique. The influence of populist movements in the United States, challenges the possibilities of social critique in fields such as climate, migration and the well-fare state. In other places in the world, populist movements have made it difficult – like in the Phillippines and in Burma – to criticize public murders and loss of citizen’s rights. In Europe, nationalist and in some cases regionalist movements questions the national state as a democratic arena for all. This is pared by a less visible but strong re-shift of resources and ideas towards technical solutions – rather than ideological or idea-based – to societies problems and in increasingly condensed ownership of news-papers and media outlets. As opposed to these tendencies, and often based on new media and communication solutions, some populist movements have also induced alternative ways of organizing politically, thus in itself becoming a critical actor towards institutionalized democracy and political elites. Examples of this can be found in movements such as the Occupy movement, or the Movimiento 11-M in Spain.

All of these parallel and interconnected developments have created a situation in which societal critique needs to re-invent itself in order to be effective. Yet, we seem to lack a comprehensive description of problems and possibilities within different political areas. Furhtermore, we ask if there is anything that could be learnt from populist movements?

The problems confronting societal critique will vary between issues and geographies, as will possible solutions. We call researchers from any field engaged with identifying problems concerning social critique, as well as with proposing solutions, to submit proposals. We encourage theoretical proposals as well as practitioner perspectives!

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words, and be submitted to no later than November 15th.

problems and possibilities of social critique 23-25 Feb 2018



Peter Aagaard ()
Coordinator Study Circle 6
peteraa [at]
Study Circle 6: Critique in the Age of Populism

Karolina Enquist ()
Coordinator Study Circle 6
karolina.enquist.kallgren [at]
Study Circle 6: Critique in the Age of Populism

Anders Ramsay ()
Coordinator Study Circle 6
anders.ramsay [at]
Study Circle 6: Critique in the Age of Populism