Welcome

I am a writer, scholar and political commentator interested in social justice and political judgment, the rise of new ideologies, and democracy's troubles with capitalism. I draw on history, philosophy, and sociology as I seek to produce politically salient and critical analyses of modern societies.

Capitalism is not on its deathbed, utopia is not in our future, and revolution is not in the cards. And yet, the time is ripe for radical progressive change.

My latest book

My latest book

"This is the big-think book of our time", James Galbraith, interview. Read his review "The Pandemic and Capitalism".

Read more Awards
Albena

Latest

2nd Leuven Critical Emancipations Conference: The Production of Difference

2nd Leuven Critical Emancipations Conference: The Production of Difference Public Lecture

Keynote Address 'The Emancipation Paradox and the Production of Indifference'

Organized by KU Leuven, Institute of Philosophy

One of the paradoxes of our time is that advances in progressive politics aiming at fostering inclusive difference are paralleled by increased competition for victimhood among various protected minorities -- a dynamic that replaces solidarities with indifference. The keynote will address this paradox.

With Nick Nesbitt and Daniel Loick
Thu 23 May, 2024
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Sat 25 May, 2024
KU Leuven
Leuven, Belgium
Home-Grown Autocracy

Home-Grown Autocracy Public Lecture

Why Are Democrats Turning Against Democracy?

Organized by European Common Space for Alternatives (ECSA)

Keynote address to the European Common Space for Alternatives (ECSA) symposium, Marseille, 26-28 April
Plenary "Power to the People": The perspective of a real democracy is not only a historical, social and political exigence but also a necessary condition to defeat authoritarianism and the Far - right forces that are rising across Europe and the Globe."

Sat 27 Apr, 2024
Marseille, France

Why Is the Right Riding High on Social Discontent? Public Lecture

Organized by International Political Science Association, Research Committe "Socialism, Capitalism and Democracy"

The affluent Western societies are beset by impoverishment, inequality, and insecurity, and awash with massive discontent. The channels of electoral politics are translating this angst into support for far-right parties; autocracy thrives with the blessing of democratic publics. To make sense of this pathology, we need to shed some of the certitudes that have buttressed 'progressive' social criticism and intellectual critique.

Thu 29 Feb, 2024

Key Driver of Populism Is Insecurity Rather Than Inequality Interview

Organized by European Center for Populism Studies

The term "populism" is misleading; it is diverting attention from significant and lasting transformations in ideological orientations that are taking place in liberal democracies. The new parameters that orient voters' preferences transcend conventional left-right categories.

Interviewed by Selcuk Gultasli
Thu 8 Feb, 2024
Le social dans quel Etat?

Le Social Dans Quel Etat? Public Lecture

Keynote Address at Autumn University, League of Human Rights

Organized by Ligue des droits de l’Homme

(1) Global income inequality between countries is at its lowest level for almost 150 years. (2) Inequality in rich countries persists. (3) Our governments are doubling down on their commitment to social justice. Should we be pleased about the first? Should we worry about the second and applaud the third? Three times No. Our policy matrix continues to produce ubiquitous precarity, which makes economic inequalities both irrelevant and highly significant. If we place social security and economic stability at the centre of policy, we might reconcile social and ecological justice.

Sat 25 Nov, 2023
Paris, France
The Politics of Precarity and Patterns of Autocracy in Europe

The Politics of Precarity and Patterns of Autocracy in Europe Public Lecture

Organized by The Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Two dynamics have been making their imprint on the political landscape of Europe over the past decade: the rise of economic inequality and the rise of far-right parties. Are the two phenomena related? And why isn’t the rage of impoverished workers fueling support for the left?

Tue 14 Nov, 2023
University of Texas
Austin, Texas, USA

Precarity for All Commentary

Post-Neoliberalism. Pathways for Transformative Economics and Politics
OSUN Economic Democracy Initiative Logo
Published: 29 Nov, 2023

An epidemic of precarity is engulfing our societies. Insecurity, instability, and uncertainty are hallmarks of modern life, inevitable consequences of humanity’s ambition to author its own destiny. In contrast, precarity – a peculiar form of politically generated and hence perfectly avoidable disempowerment – is the hallmark of the 21st century.

The emergence of a novel social pathology at the dawn of the new millennium was quietly signaled by the arrival of a new entry in the English-language dictionaries: precarity. The term first appeared in the Collins Dictionary in 2017, then in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2018, as a sign that the existing concept, precariousness, is somehow deficient in conveying the nature of the vulnerability that has beset societies. While most reference books tend to equate the two terms, the Oxford Dictionary has added, as a second connotation, "a state of not having a secure job or income, especially over a long period of time". Indeed, the insecurity of livelihoods is at the heart of precarity as a singular social pathology.