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FASS thinking: Professorial lecture with Peter Hallward

Date:25 April 2013, 5:00pm to
25 April 2013, 6:00pm
Location:JG0002, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn road, Kingston University
 KT1 2EE

The Will of the People and the Struggle for Democracy

This talk will try to clarify and defend what's at stake in the familiar notion of a democratic political will, understood as a rational practice of inclusive and egalitarian self-determination. As conceived by thinkers ranging from Rousseau to Fanon, exercise of an autonomous 'will of the people' involves a process of collective self-emancipation. It requires a capacity for association, deliberation, and prescription, as well as the power to implement political decisions in the face of whatever resistance they encounter. In the past, it was the militant assertion of such a popular will, for instance in the French, Haitian and Russian revolutions, that posed the most far-reaching challenges to the existing order of things; unsurprisingly, today's political establishment (along with a good deal of contemporary philosophy and critical theory) is largely organised around its pacification or containment.

Drinks reception will follow.

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