Sunday, 30 January 2011

The will of the people and the struggle for democracy

Political theorist Peter Hallward is giving a talk on the above topic in Dublin.

"In this talk Peter Hallward will try to clarify and defend the once-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 reactionary political establishment (along with a good deal of contemporary philosophy and critical theory) is largely organised around its exclusion or disruption. But the struggle continues!"

Further details here.