I am a writer, scholar and political commentator interested in judgment and justice, ideologies, democracy's troubles with capitalism and capitalism's devious talent for survival. I draw on history of ideas and political sociology to produce (hopefully) politically salient and critical analyses of modern societies. I am currently a Professor of Social and Political Science at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies.

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


Regaining Our Futures

Regaining Our Futures Public Lecture

How can political theory help us break free of the tyranny of the present?

Organized by University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies

In the early 21st century, Western societies are at the height of their affluence, scientific brilliance, and institutional sophistication. Yet, they have lost the capacity to cope with the present and navigate the future. Long-term and global policy commitments are often neglected in favour of short-term and local concerns. We are trapped in the tyranny of a present scarred by rising inequality, precarity, discrimination and autocratic rule. Can political theory help us break free?
In this presentation, I will draw on some of the conceptual innovations I have developed throughout my life’s work as a political theorist, starting with my critical engagement in the 1989 revolution in my native Bulgaria, to suggest ways of expanding our intellectual and political ambitions.

Wed 5 Apr, 2023
Precarity's damage to liberal democracies

Precarity's damage to liberal democracies Public Lecture

Guest lecture at OECD Council, Paris

Organized by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Within the lecture series "New Approaches to Economic Challenges" hosted by OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann (restricted to OECD ambassadors).

Fri 2 Dec, 2022
Precarity, Populism, and the future of progressive alternatives

Precarity, Populism, and the future of progressive alternatives Public Lecture

A keynote at the European Civic Academy

Organized by European Civic Forum

Twenty years since the first European Social Forum took place in Florence, Italy, in November 2002, the fifth edition of the European Civic Academy asks "How can democratic civil society drive systemic change?". My keynote addresses the phenomenon of political inertia in times of crisis and the capacity of the precarious multitude to become an agent of radical social transformation.

Thu 10 Nov, 2022
Fri 11 Nov, 2022
Democracy with Foresight

Democracy with Foresight Public Lecture

The key to socially sustainable transition in Europe (and beyond)

Organized by The European Trade Union Institute

Two decades of perpetual crisis management have depleted Europe’s capacity to envision and pursue a future. How can the European Union steer the course towards the long-view of social and ecological wellbeing in this context of incessant emergencies? Drawing on our research into sustainable European integration and progressive social transformation Kalypso Nikolaidis and I discern a path for the socially sustainable transition we now need.

With Kalypso Nicolaïdis
Wed 7 Sep, 2022

Capitalism, Democracy, Socialism Book

Critical Debates

with James Chamberlain (eds.)

This book, collectively authored by members of the Research Committee on Socialism, Capitalism and Democracy (part of the International Political Science Association) critically analyzes the current historical conjuncture with an eye to its emergent alternatives.

The ends of radical critique? Crisis, capitalism, emancipation: a conversation Article

with Amy Allen, Paul Apostolidis and Lea Ypi

Journal of Political Power
Taylor and Francis Logo
Published: Jan 2023

Capitalism on Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia Article

with Azar Dakwar

Critical Horizons
Taylor and Francis Logo
Published: Aug 2022

Capitalism on Edge aims to redraw the terms of analysis of the so-called democratic capitalism and sketches a political agenda for emancipating society of its grip. This symposium reflects critically on Azmanova’s book and challenges her arguments on methodological, thematic, and substantive grounds. Azar Dakwar introduces the book’s claims and wonders about the nature of the anti-capitalistic agency Azmanova’s ascribes to the precariat. David Ingram worries about Azmanova’s deposing of “economic democracy” and the impact of which on the prospect of radical change she advocates. William Callison casts doubt over the empirical plausibility of Azmanova’s vision of crisis-free transition out of democratic capitalism. Eilat Maoz interrogates Azmanova’s emancipatory project from the historical standpoint of (de)colonization and global imperialism. In her reply to these criticisms, Azmanova accepts some and parries others, while bringing their points closer to her anti-capitalist vision.