Speaking Engagements by Craig Calhoun

The Future of Nations: Anxieties about Voice and Belonging to a Global World

In an era of globalization, it has been common to assert that nations and nation-states will lose significance and perhaps even fade away. Observers have accordingly been surprised by the renewal of nationalist politics around the world. But in fact, nation-states are still of enormous practical influence, and socio-cultural nations are basic to the way they work. Nations are also important to the identities of individuals and to projects of social cohesion. Nationalism need not always be belligerent or oppressive but for the foreseeable future it will remain important, influencing both domestic politics and international relations. The key question is not whether nations have a future, but whether in the future nations and national politics can be organized for greater global cooperation, and better domestic integration.

La Trobe University City Campus
360 Collins St.
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Australia

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Title: Populism, Polarization, and Democracy

Populist messages have been basic to the most prominent political events of the last year, like Brexit in the UK and the election of Trump in the US. But populist politics have in fact shaped elections, social movements, and appeals for political legitimacy around the world. They are often combined with nationalism and discussed in each case as though special to that country. But the fact that they are so widespread reveals that each is not entirely idiosyncratic. They respond to common pressures from neoliberal globalization, intensified inequality, technological transformations, and cultural changes – but with specific national and local inflections. Populist politics have been recurrent throughout the modern era, channelling resentments and shaping reactionary movements. Populism can threaten democracy by giving power to illiberal demagogues. But populism can also express demands for wider sharing of the benefits of economic growth and encourage democratic renewal through better recognition of the importance of all citizens and not only elites.

La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus
MelbourneVictoria3086
Australia

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
5:00pm - 7:00pm