Field Seminar in Political Theory: Radical Theories of Democracy

New School for Social Research: Politics

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Majors Only

Field Seminar Pol Theory

Fall 2020

Taught By: Andreas Kalyvas

Section: A

CRN: 7348

Credits: 3

The field seminar introduces students to the history and key themes of political theory. Every year there is a different theme. This year’s seminar is a comprehensive critical introduction to the study of contemporary radical theories of democracy with the overall aim of systematically rethinking the modern democratic experience, its legacy and promises. The seminar will focus on various attempts to radicalize democracy (agonistic democracy, fugitive democracy, dissensus democracy, savage democracy, plebeian democracy, council democracy, etc.) with a strong emphasis on what constitutes the singularity of democracy and what it is about it that accounts for its radicalism. In the context of the modern advent of democracy, the course engages with the relationship between democracy and the state-form; popular sovereignty and private property; participation, representation, and delegation; pluralism and antagonism; equality and capitalism; wealth and poverty, autonomy and heteronomy. It also interrogates the complex nexus of power, law, race, and gender. The objective is threefold: 1) to determine which radical elements in democratic theory remain current, no matter what form and shape they take in concrete instances; 2) to understand the diverse attempts to radicalize democracy not as speculative exercises but as historical and political explorations in conversation with and in response to current social conflicts; and 3) to examine whether the politics and theory of radical democracy can provide a viable emancipatory alternative to the oligarchic rule of capital, the ongoing crisis of the liberal paradigm of politics, and the global rise of authoritarianism, xenophobia, racism, and far-right violence. Authors like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Antonio Gramsci, Cornelius Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Jacques Rancière, Sheldon Wolin, Wendy Brown, Miguel Abensour, Partha Chartterjee, among others, will be central for a radical rethinking of democracy.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Politics (GPOL)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 14, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 22, 2020 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:01am 1/23/2021 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 4:00pm - 6:40pm

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 9/2/2020 - 12/16/2020