Groundless contestation: On (post)-truth and democratic politics

by Catherine Koekoek, Erasmus School of Philosophy, Rotterdam

Deliberative and radical accounts of democracy have always been at loggerheads with one another. Here Catherine Koekoek highlights the US capitol storming as an archetypal post-truth political event. In doing so, she provocatively argues that post-truth politics demonstrates how deliberative and agonistic approaches to democratic theory ‘presuppose and require each other’.

Spectral Inheritance: Decolonial Response-ability to the Plural Past

by Ruben Hordijk, Linköping University

Since the death of George Floyd in May last year and the mass mobilisation of Black Lives Matter uprisings across the globe, decolonisation has become ubiquitous in mainstream politics. Drawing on scholarship that understands the timeline as an imperial technology which colonises the future, here Ruben Hordijk argues that we must resist the closure of the past and entirely re-think time itself, if we are to truly resist the forces of (neo)colonialism and imperialism today.

On the Impossibility of Left Populism

by Mudar Kassis, Birzeit University

In South America, left-wing populism has been a feature of political life for decades. In Europe, populism emerged as a right-wing phenomena; but in recent years the arguments for a Left Populism have garnered greater traction. Writing in Palestine, Mudar Kassis argues that populism inherently deceives those it claims to represent. Instead we must tear off the facade and organise against our true enemy.

The Contemporary Face of White Supremacy: “Ownership of the Earth Forever and Ever, Amen!”

by Jishnu Guha-Majumdar, Queen’s University, Ontario

As protestors stormed the US Capitol in early January, the ensuing spectacle of Jake Angeli – clad in far-right tattoos, American flag face-paint and animal skin – cut a striking image. Here Jishnu Guha-Majumdar takes Angeli’s representation seriously: as the new face of white-supremacy. A force which has always been concerned with dominion of the earth, the designation of proper humans, and an environmentalism destined to exclude.

Conflict, Recognition & Gender Transitions

by Jules Joanne Gleeson

Following our piece last month which argues the UK government has weaponised the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) by failing to act on its public consultation on gender transitioning; here Gleeson reconstructs how the UK got here, analyses the toxic debate we find ourselves immersed within and what needs to be done to productively move forward.

Recognition Against Liberation: On the UK’s Unreformed Gender Recognition Act

By Chris Griffin, University of Brighton

Last month, the UK government finally published its response to the 2018 public consultation on the Gender Recogniton Act. Trans activists and allies, alongside leading charities, have described the response as ‘lacklustre’ and thoroughly insufficient to support those who are transitioning. Here Chris Griffin goes further and argues that the government’s response has the effect of ‘weaponising’ the law against the movement for trans liberation.

The Spectre of Terror: Philippine Democracy and the Threat of the New (Ab)normal

by Jove Jim S. Aguas, Paolo A. Bolaños and Jovito V. Cariño, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

The Philippine Congress has recently passed a law: the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. Here academics from the University of Santo Tomas’ Department of Philosophy warn of the act’s potential dangers. The current regime now has the capacity, if it so wishes, to implement a permanent state of exception and martial rule without ever naming it as such.

‘The People do not exist’: Populism after Coronavirus

by Clare Woodford, University of Brighton

During these days of coronavirus lockdown, online discussion abounds as to whether populism, purportedly on the rise before lockdown, will be helped or hindered by the pandemic. But will exclusionary forms of populism and free-market liberalism be the only politically salient choices once the lockdown is over?

Brazil: The politicization of a pandemic and the search for order amidst the chaos

by Michele Diana da Luz, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil

As the daily cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Brazil, Michele Diane da Luz analyses three key moments in the political response to the pandemic that may come to define it in a country with the second highest number cases in the world. She argues that Brazil is facing both an economic and a political crisis in the midst of this health crisis.