Great Thinkers #2

Nanke Verloo presents Chantal Mouffe

In this Great Thinkers Seminar, Nanke Verloo will present Chantal Mouffe, one of the most critical contemporary thinkers on democracy.

While states, policy makers and politicians, but also scholars of democracy were under the spell of deliberative ideals, Mouffe convincingly unraveled the undemocratic and exclusive effects of deliberative models. Her work and thinking do not only reveal the unintended and often invisible undemocratic consequences of current democratic regimes, it also provides alternatives. A Radical Democracy does not shy away from tensions but treats conflict and pluralism at the heart of democratic development. How can society reembrace ‘the political’? And what is the role of public space in a plural democracy?

Nanke Verloo will trace Mouffe’s democratic paradox, discuss her proposal for a Radical Democracy, but also critically reflect on how these ideas get translated into practices of local governments. Mouffe’s work provides an authentic example of social-political engaged scholarship, ranging from assigning critical power to the Arts to a proposal for a Left Populism. As we open this avenue for a more activist scholarship, Verloo will also engage in providing hands-on examples and proposals for the practice of a more agonistic and plural democracy.

About the speaker

Nanke Verloo is Assistant Professor in Urban Planning. Her work specializes in processes of urban governance, conflict, citizen participation, and in- and exclusion of marginalized groups. She is trained in Anthropology and Public Policy. Her research and teaching take an interdisciplinary and ethnographic approach to ‘planning for inclusive cities’. She is interested in participatory planning and the interaction between top-down and bottom-up efforts to democratize urban development processes. She specifically looks at the role of ‘informal politics’ as a crucial aspect of participation.

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