Articles & Book Chapters

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

with Amy Allen, Paul Apostolidis and Lea Ypi

Journal of Political Power
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Published: Jan 2023

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

with Azar Dakwar

Critical Horizons
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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.

Populism and the Recasting of the Ideological Landscape of Liberal Democracies

in The Palgrave Handbook of Populism edited by Michael Oswald

Palgrave Macmillan
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Published: Sep 2021

Postcapitalism: The Return of Radical Critique

in Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory edited by Gerard Delanty and Stephen P. Turner

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Published: 21 Sep, 2021

Battlegrounds of Justice: The Pandemic and What Really Grieves the 99%

in Pandemics, Politics, and Society: Critical Perspectives on the Covid-19 Crisis edited by Gerard Delanty

De Gruyter
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Pages: 243-256; Published: 22 Feb, 2021

Two battlegrounds of justice had taken shape in the decade preceding the Covid-19 pandemic: the fight against inequality, and the fight against climate change. The tension between social and environmental justice has intensified, as the redistributive demands of the former rely on a formula of inclusive prosperity that aggravates the environmental trauma. I critique the focus on economic inequality as a path of radical politics, observing that it is fallacious on four grounds – conceptually, structurally, tactically and strategically. I propose that shifting the focus from fighting inequality to fighting precarity, itself an outcome of capitalism’s core dynamic – the competitive pursuit of profit, would make the social justice agenda compatible with environmental justice.

Countering precarity: social resilience through a political economy of trust

in Resilience in EU and International Institutions: Redefining Local Ownership in a New Global Governance Agenda edited by Elena Korosteleva and Trine Flockhart

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Pages: 236-254; Published: 30 Nov, 2020

This chapter explores the socio-economic parameters that shape experiences of securityand vulnerability. It argues that contemporary capitalism has generated not just a precariousclass, a “precariat”(Guy Standing), but a precarious multitude, with experiences of precaritycutting across gender, age, class and occupational differences. Policy efforts and intellectualcritique have so far focused either on fighting inequality through redistribution or on a revival ofthe post-WWII, bureaucratic welfare state. As an alternative, this chapter will articulate a policyset that fosters societal and personal resilience by building what I haveconceptualized as “political economy of trust”.These are reforms which counter social andeconomic insecurity at the level of interpersonal relations and interactions, with a focus onlogistics of equitable distribution of risks and opportunities

Viral Insurgencies: Can Capitalism Survive Covid?

Theory & Event
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Volume: 23; Issue: 5; Pages: 87-109; Published: Oct 2020

The article discusses what three very different instances of popular radicalism in the summer of 2020 have in common: the George Floyd insurgencies in the US, the anti-government protests in Bulgaria, and the Beirut revolt of 2020 have in common. I argue that these insurgencies could be seen as something more radical than the calls for equality and inclusion (within the existing system) that had defined progressive politics in western democracies throughout the 20th century and until recently. They can be seen, instead, as systemic disruptions: a rejection of the political economy, institutional logistics and social dispositions that actuate democratic capitalism as a social and political system.

The Costs of the Democratic Turn in Political Theory

in Theory as Ideology in International Relations: The Politics of Knowledge edited by Benjamin Martill and Sebastian Schindler

London: Routledge
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Published: 12 Mar, 2020

I explore the mechanisms intrinsic to theorising through which democratic theory is prone to reproduce the very ideological effects it purports to critique. argue that democratic theory starts performing an unintended ideological function when the mechanisms of theorising contain an incestuously close coexistence between democracy as an object of analysis, a normative horizon of critique, a social ontology (a set of presuppositions about society from which the enquiry proceeds) and a tool of progressive social change. When such circularity emerges, democratic theory, I will claim, becomes a source of normative validation for its purported object of critique. Theory transforms from an explanatory device with a critical, world-disclosing purpose into a doctrine – a conceptual mechanism of justification and stabilisation of power relations.

Anti-Capital for the XXIst Century (on the metacrisis of capitalism and the prospects for radical politics)

Philosophy & Social Criticism
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Published: 5 Mar, 2020

Using the temperate nature of recent social protest as its entry point, this analysis investigates the current state of liberal democracies as one in which the purported crisis of capitalism has entered a crisis of its own – a social condition of metacrisis, marked by the absence of utopian energies and prospects for a revolution, even as society experiences itself in perpetual crisis. This inquiry then discerns the potential for radical change in terms of subverting capitalism (rather than overthrowing or resisting it) through practices that counteract the very constitutive dynamic of capitalism – the production of profit.

Whose development? What hegemony? Tackling the structural dynamics of global social injustice

Ethics & Global Politics
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Volume: 12; Issue: 4; Pages: 32-39; Published: 17 Dec, 2019

I briefly review the main parameters of the conceptual framework David Ingram builds, and then proceed to test its heuristic power by examining its capacity to address three types of domination (relational, structural and systemic) typical of contemporary capitalism.

The Inverted Post-national Constellation: Identitarian populism in context

with Azar Dakwar

European Law Journal
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Volume: 25; Issue: 5; Pages: 494-501; Published: 26 Nov, 2019

As exemplified by the pan‐European ‘Identitarian movement’ (IM), contemporary far‐right populism defies the habitual matrix within which right‐wing radicalism has been criticised as a negation of liberal cosmopolitanism. The IM's political stance amalgamates features of cultural liberalism and racialist xenophobia into a defence of ‘European way of life.’ We offer an alternative decoding of the phenomenon by drawing on Jürgen Habermas's ‘postnational constellation.’ It casts the IM's protectionist qua chauvinistic populism as ‘inverted’ postnationalism, engendered through territorial and ethnic appropriation of universal political values. As such, inclusionary ideals of cosmopolitan liberalism and democracy purporting humanistic postnationalism have been transformed by Identitarians into elements of a privileged civilisational life‐style to be protected from ‘intruders.’ Remaining within the remit of the grammar of the postnational constellation, trans‐European chauvinism, we contend, is susceptible to inclusive articulation. Foregrounding radical emancipatory social transformation would however require not more democracy, but a principled critique of capitalism.

The Emancipation Paradox: Populism, Democracy, and the Soul of the Left

Philosophy & Social Criticism
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Volume: 45; Issue: 9-10; Pages: 1186-1207; Published: 29 Oct, 2019

What is the connection between the surge of populism and the deflation of electoral support to traditional left-leaning ideological positions? How can we explain the downfall of the Left in conditions that should be propelling it to power? In its reaction both to the neo-liberal hegemony and to the rise of populism, I claim that the Left is afflicted by what Nietzsche called ‘a democratic prejudice’ – the reflex of reading history as the advent of democracy and its crisis. As a result, the Left now undertakes to recover democracy by resurrecting the growth-and-redistribution policy set that was a trademark of the ‘golden age’ of social democracy in the three post-war decades. This nostalgic gesture, however, is leading the Left into another predicament, which I call the ‘paradox of emancipation’ – while fighting for equality and inclusion as essential conditions for democratic citizenship, the Left is validating the social order within which equality and inclusion are being sought – namely, order shaped by the competitive production of profit which is the root cause of our societies’ plight. The analysis concludes with a proposal for building a counter-hegemony against neo-liberal capitalism by means of enlarging the Left’s focus beyond its traditional concerns with inequality and exclusion, to address also the injustice of growing social and economic insecurity – a harm whose reach surpasses the working poor. Reformulating an agenda of social justice around issues of economic insecurity that cross the ‘class divide’ would allow the Left to mobilize a broad coalition of social forces for radical and lasting change in the direction of socialist democracy.


in The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon edited by Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta

Cambridge University Press
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Published: 31 Mar, 2019

Late Capitalism

in The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon edited by Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta

Cambridge University Press
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Published: 31 Mar, 2019

The clash that never was: Debating Islam, the myth of civilisations and the realities of democracy

Philosophy & Social Criticism
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Volume: 45; Issue: 5; Pages: 617–624; Published: 28 Mar, 2019

This is a review of the book Towards New Democratic Imaginaries – Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics, edited by Seyla Benhabib and Volker Kaul (Springer, 2017). It relates the genesis of the Istanbul Seminars and discusses their intellectual and political rationale. It then articulates some of the intellectual approaches, analytical perspectives, and ingredients for critical analysis the 30 contributions to the volume bring in the search of new political imaginaries able to solve the simultaneous crises of democracy and of Islam, of politics and religion.

Emancipation, Progress, Critique: Debating Amy Allen’s The End of Progress

Contemporary Political Theory
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Volume: 17; Issue: 4; Pages: 511–541; Published: May 2018

Amy Allen is cautious of progress. And she is fighting for it. The ammunition, elaborated in her audacious The End of Progress, is a form of critique that emanates from a synergy she builds between the discontents of post-colonial theory and the insights of critical theory. The debates that followed the book’s publication often presented Allen’s enlightened scepticism as scepticism of the Enlightenment; her rejection of the hubris of a Eurocentric historical logic of progress -- as a wholesale rejection of the universalism implied in the commitment to emancipation. The commentaries collected in this exchange (which began at a meeting in Prague in May 2017) rebalance the pendulum of criticism – while most of Allen’s critics have found her unpalatably critical of progress, these five interventions urge her to be more boldly so. Guilel Treiber counsels her to pay due attention to the insignificant and the infamous, Andrew Feenberg -- to acknowledge the way technical artefacts and systems are appropriated or suffered by ordinary people, Noëlle McAfee – to have stronger trust in the moral intuitions of lived experience, Azar Dakwar and Martin Saar -- to have the courage to think emancipation without the crutches of a notion of progress.

The European Left’s Machiavellian moment: notes on Costas Douzinas’ Syriza in Power

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Published: 27 Apr, 2018

Review of Costas Douzinas, Syriza in Power: Reflections of an Accidental Politician (Polity, 2017)

The Populist Catharsis: On the Revival of the Political

Philosophy & Social Criticism
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Volume: 44; Issue: 4; Pages: 399-411; Published: 12 Mar, 2018

I argue that populism is not the cause of the erosion of diversity capital in contemporary democracies, it is its outcome. Focusing on the process of politicization of the social grievances articulated by populist parties and movements, I offer a diagnosis of the state of the political in contemporary democracies, in order to discern populism’s capacity to reboot democratic politics.

Relational, structural and systemic forms of power: the ‘right to justification’ confronting three types of domination

Journal of Political Power
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Volume: 11; Issue: 1; Pages: 68-78; Published: 15 Feb, 2018

This article investigates the nature of intellectual critique and social criticism Rainer Forst’s critical theory of justification enables. I introduce a taxonomy of three forms of power – namely, ‘relational’, ‘structural’ and ‘systemic’ – and related to them types of domination, and assess the capacity of Forst’s conceptual framework to address each of them. I argue that the right to justification is a potent tool for emancipation from structural to relational forms of domination, but claim that Forst’s particular conceptualisation of power prevents him from addressing injustices generated by ‘systemic domination’ – the subjection of all actors to the functional imperatives of the system of social relations.

The Crisis of ‘the Crisis of Europe’

in European Union and Disunion edited by Ash Amin and Philip Lewis

The British Academy
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Pages: 41-46; Published: 18 May, 2017

This is a contribution to a symposium at the British Academy on 4 November 2016 to discuss Europe after Brexit. I argue that although Brexit had much to do with the neoliberal policy package that triggered the 2008-2009 social and economic meltdown, the policies of crisis management have transformed the crisis into a new normal -- a phenomenon I call 'crisis-of-crisis'. To exit this conundrum, we need to tackle the massive economic and social uncertainty through building what I call a 'political economy of trust'.

Empowerment as Surrender: How Women Lost the Battle for Emancipation as They Won Equality and Inclusion

Social Research: An International Quarterly
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Volume: 83; Issue: 3; Pages: 749-776; Published: Fall 2016

This analysis addresses the way second wave feminism, through its achievements both in terms of political mobilization and intellectual critique, failed to address the larger structural sources of the injustice the movement fought, thereby falling short of the lasting emancipation it aspired to achieve. The first part of the analysis address the way feminism as a political movement framed its agenda in terms of equality and inclusion within a model of wellbeing feminists did not question. This helps me to account for the way women’s empowerment within a socio-political model shaped by the imperatives of neoliberal capitalism amounts to a surrender to these imperatives. The second part examines the failures of intellectual critique – and finds them in another success story – the democratic turn in political theory, including critical social theory. Finally, I trace a path for recasting the feminist agenda from the point of view of a broader critique of contemporary capitalism, in which instances of gender injustice are symptomatic of broader forms of domination to which men and women are equally subjected. Thus, I offer a way of transforming the antagonism of gendered injustice into an agonism of degendered social critique.

The Right to Politics and Republican Non-domination

Philosophy & Social Criticism
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Volume: 42; Issue: 4; Pages: 465-475; Published: Jun 2016

Against pronouncements of the recent demise of both democracy and the political, I maintain that there is, rather, something amiss with the process of politicization in which social grievances are translated into matters of political concern and become objects of policy-making. I therefore propose to seek an antidote to the de-politicizing tendencies of our age by reanimating the mechanism that transmits social conflicts and grievances into politics. To that purpose, I formulate the notion of a ‘fundamental right to politics’ as the opposite of the techne of policy-making. I articulate this right via a reconstruction of the logical presuppositions of democracy as collective self-authorship. I then recast the concept of non-domination by discerning two trajectories of domination – ‘relational’ and ‘systemic’ ones, to argue that in a viable democracy that makes full use of the right to politics, the dynamics of politicization should take place along both trajectories; currently, however, matters of systemic injustice get translated in relational terms and politicized as concerns for inclusion into and distribution within the existing system of social relations, rather than its radical overhaul.

Democracy Against Social Reform: The Arab ‘Spring’ Faces its Demons

in What is Enlightenment? Continuity or Rupture in the Wake if the Arab Uprisings edited by Mohammed Cherkaoui

Rowman and Littlefield
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Pages: 239-254; Published: 30 Apr, 2016

Crisis? Capitalism is Doing Very Well. How is Critical Theory?

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Volume: 21; Issue: 3; Pages: 351-365; Published: 22 Sep, 2014

There is no crisis of capitalism, only a crisis of critique. I claim that Critical Social Theory of Frankfurt School origins does stand guilty of a failure to develop a body of valiant critique of the political economy of neoliberal capitalism in the course of the latter’s ascent in the 1980s and 1990s. The first part of my analysis addresses the crisis of capitalism as a distinct object of critique, in order to identify the direction a critique of contemporary capitalism is to take. The second part examines the analytical equipment at Critical Theory’s disposal for undertaking such an endeavor. Within an inventory of some of the key achievements of the tradition both in terms of its object and method of critique, some conceptual deficiencies are identified – namely, the reduced attention to what I describe as “systemic domination,” and the diminished reliance on a critique of the political economy of capitalism. The third part adumbrates a proposal for recasting Critical Theory by way of (a) redefining the normative content of emancipation; (b) effecting a realist-pragmatic turn within the communicative turn; (c) bringing the critique of political economy back into critical social theory.

Soziale Gerechtigkeit und die verschiedenen Varianten des Kapitalismus

in Der Wert des Marktes edited by Axel Honneth and Lisa Herzog

Suhrkamp Verlag
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Published: 17 Feb, 2014

The question of the moral value of the market arises with particular emphasis after the recent financial crises. But it is not new. The volume illuminates the tense relationship between market and morality in texts of political, economic and sociological thinking from 1700 to the present. The spectrum of authors extends from Mandeville and Smith to Marx and Durkheim to Cohen and Sen; short essays outline the historical and systematic context. A book full of arguments that help to understand the market economy better.

The ‘Crisis of Capitalism’ and the State – More Powerful, Less Responsible, Invariably Legitimate

in Semantics of Statebuilding: Language, Meanings and Sovereignty edited by Nicholas Onuf, Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, Petar Bojanić and Vojin Rakić

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Pages: 150-162; Published: 15 Nov, 2013

This chapter traces the reconfiguration of the legitimacy relationship between states and citizens, and the related alteration of the semantics of the social contract since the advent of liberal democracies in Europe. This reconfiguration has fostered the recent emergence of a fourth modality of capitalism (as an institutionalized social order) after (1) the entrepreneurial nineteenth-century capitalism, (2) the ‘organized’ capitalism of the post-WWII welfare state, and (3) the neoliberal, ‘disorganized’ capitalism of the late twentieth century. A key feature of the new modality, in terms of the nature of power relations, is a simultaneous increase in the state’s administrative power and a decrease in its authority. However, due to a recasting of the legitimacy relationship between public authority and citizens, the deficient authority of states has not triggered a legitimacy crisis of the socio-economic system. A readjustment of the pathological relationship (from the point of view of democratic legitimacy) between public authority and citizens would require a stronger responsibilization of public authority in matters of social and economic policy.

Political Judgment for an Agonistic Democracy

No Foundations
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Volume: 10; Published: Jun 2013

I articulate a model of conflict-based deliberative judgment

The Crisis of Europe: Democratic Deficit and Eroding Sovereignty — Not Guilty

Law and Critique
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Volume: 24; Issue: 1; Pages: 23-38; Published: 11 Jan, 2013

Taking inspiration from a distinction Kant drew between the way power is organised, and the manner in which it is exercised, this analysis directs attention to the consolidation of an autocratic style of politics in Europe. The co-existence between an autocratic style of rule and preserved democratic organisation of power, which prevents a legitimation crisis, is explained in terms of an altered legitimacy relationship (or social contract) between public authority and citizens. This ultimately allows a discrepancy to emerge between public authority’s increased capacity for policy action and reduced social responsibility for the consequences of that action.

Social Harm, Political Judgment, and the Pragmatics of Universal Justification

in Relativism and Human Rights edited by Claudio Corradetti

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Pages: 107-123; Published: 3 Oct, 2012

How is to be policy action guided in cases of conflict among basic rights? The clash among rights of equal standing within a society’s broad conception of justice is often articulated in the terms of unfairness. By drawing a distinction between justice and fairness, and by exploring the pragmatics of justification in cases of conflicts among rights, this chapter adumbrates a discourse-theoretic model of political judgment – what I name ‘critical deliberative judgment’. The parameters of this model emerge first from a particular reconstitution of Critical Theory (as a tradition of social philosophy) that focuses attention on the emancipation-oriented, rather than on the consensus-generating, dimension of rights: the question “What is justice?” gives precedence to “Who suffers?”. The model is further elaborated by way of a pragmatist political epistemology that accounts for the way specific experiences of injustice affect publics’ identification of what issues count as relevant ones in debates over conflicting rights. Finally, the model is completed with an account of the critical and emancipatory work democratic practices of open dialogue are able to perform, ultimately relating local sensitivities to universal demands of justice by disclosing the socio-structural (rather that agent-specific or culture-specific) sources of injustice.

Social Justice and Varieties of Capitalism: An Immanent Critique

New Political Economy
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Volume: 17; Issue: 4; Pages: 445-463; Published: 3 Feb, 2012

In assessing the various forms of welfare capitalism, normative political philosophy typically draws on two major philosophical traditions – republicanism and liberalism, invoking either equality and the public good or, alternatively, individual autonomy as normative criteria for evaluation. Drawing, instead, on Critical Theory as a tradition of social philosophy, I advance a proposal for assessment of the types of welfare capitalism conducted as ‘immanent critique’ of the key structural dynamics of contemporary capitalism. Normative criteria thus emerge within a diachronic dimension of social transformation, which in turn grounds the comparison among synchronic types of capitalism. This ultimately enables a research agenda for the operationalisation of a normative analysis of capitalism within which social justice is gauged by the degree of voluntary employment flexibility – a key factor in the distribution of life-chances in the early twenty-first century.

De-gendering social justice in the 21st century: An immanent critique of neoliberal capitalism

European Journal of Social Theory
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Volume: 15; Issue: 2; Pages: 143-156; Published: 11 Jan, 2012

This article presents a blueprint of a feminist agenda for the twenty-first century that is oriented not by the telos of gender parity, but instead evolves as an ‘immanent critique’ of the key structural dynamics of contemporary capitalism – within a framework of analysis derived from the tenets of Critical Theory of Frankfurt School origin. This activates a form of critique whose double focus on: (1) shared conceptions of justice; and (2) structural sources of injustice, allows criteria of social justice to emerge from the identification of a broad pattern of societal injustice surpassing the discrimination of particular groups. In this light, women’s victimization is but a symptom of structural dynamics negatively affecting also the alleged winners in the classical feminist agenda of critique. The analysis ultimately produces a model of social justice in a formula of socially embedded autonomy that unites work, care, and leisure.

After the Left-Right (Dis)continuum: Globalization and the Remaking of Europe’s Ideological Geography

International Political Sociology
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Volume: 5; Issue: 4; Pages: 384-407; Published: 5 Dec, 2011

This article examines the status of globalization as a causal factor in political mobilization and proposes a research agenda for diagnosing the impact of global socio-economic dynamics on ideological orientation in national polities. Focusing on Europe’s established democracies, the article outlines recent shifts in Europe’s ideological landscape and explores the mechanisms generating a new pattern of political conflict and electoral competition. It advances the hypothesis that the knowledge economy of open borders has brought about a political cleavage inti- mately linked to citizens’ perceptions of the social impact of global eco- nomic integration. In this context, the polarization of life chances is determined by institutionally mediated exposure to both the economic opportunities and the hazards of globalization. Fostered by the increas- ing relevance of the international for state-bound publics, new fault-lines of social conflict are emerging, giving shape to a new, ‘‘opportunity- risk,’’ axis of political competition. As the novel political cleavage challenges the conventional left–right divide, it is likely to radically alter Europe’s ideological geography.

Against the Politics of Fear: On Deliberation, Inclusion, and the Political Economy of Trust

Philosophy & Social Criticism
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Volume: 37; Issue: 2; Pages: 401-412; Published: 26 May, 2011

This is an inquiry into the economic psychology of trust: what model of the political economy of complex liberal democracies is conducive to attitudes allowing difference to be perceived in the terms of ‘significant other’, rather than as a menacing or an irrelevant stranger. As a test case of prevailing perceptions of otherness in European societies, I examine attitudes towards Turkey’s accession to the European Union. The analysis introduces the concept of 'economic xenophobia'

Deliberative Conflict and ‘The Better Argument’ Mystique

The Good Society
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Volume: 19; Issue: 1; Pages: 48-54; Published: 2010

Contribution to a symposium on James Fishkin’s When the People Speak, with contributions also by Jane Mansbridge, Lynn Sanders, Sanford Levinson, and a reply by James Fishkin.

Capitalism Reorganized: Social Justice after Neo-liberalism

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Volume: 17; Issue: 3; Pages: 390-406; Published: 24 Aug, 2010

The article traces the emergence of “reorganized” capitalism as consecutively the fourth modality of capitalism – after the 19th century entrepreneurial form, the post-liberal “organized” capitalism of the welfare state, and the “disorganized” neo-liberal model of the late 20th century. The features of the fourth modality emerge from an analysis of (1) the key dynamics of social stratification, (2) the matrix of state-society relations, and (3) the structure of electoral mobilization in advanced industrial democracies.

1989 and the Accidental Death of the European Social Model

Policy & Politics
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Volume: 37; Issue: 4; Pages: 611-614; Published: Oct 2009

1989 and the European Social Model: Transition without emancipation?

Philosophy & Social Criticism
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Volume: 35; Issue: 9; Pages: 1019-1037; Published: 19 Oct, 2009

The post-communist revolutions of 1989 triggered parallel transformation in the ideological landscape on both sides of the former Iron Curtain. The geo-political opening after the end of the Cold War made global integration a highly salient factor in political mobilization, opting out to replace the capital-versus-labor dynamics of conflict that had shaped the ideological families of Europe during the 20th century. This has resulted in splitting the traditional constituencies of the Left and the Right and reorganizing them along new fault-lines: those shaped by attitudes to globalization and EU enlargement (in the West) and by attitudes to EU accession and global economic competition (in the East). Thus, an ideational convergence between East and West is taking place in Europe, radically altering the structure of political competition in the early 21st century. As the new political cleavage cuts across, rather than runs along, the left—right ideological continuum, it is eroding the societal alliances that had supported the post-war European Social Model. The emerging structure of political competition enables substantive changes in the European Social Model in the direction of deepening labor commodification, thus defeating the emancipatory potential that earlier labor-market policies had contained.

Democratization, Economic Transition and Sustainable Development: A Perspective from the EU’s New Member States

in The EU and Sustainable Development: Internal and External Dimensions edited by Marc Pallemaerts

VUB University Press
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Published: 2006

Le Potentiel Démocratique de la Constitution Européenne (ou Les Démocrates doivent-ils voter pour?)

in Les Européennes en 2005 edited by Dominique Reynie

Odile Jacob Publishing
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Pages: 137-149; Published: 1 Jun, 2005

In the run-up to the French referendum on the Constitutional Treaty for Europe in the spring of 2005, the author addresses the most politically sensitive question surrounding debates on the draft law: does it achieve the promised balance between policy efficiency and democracy. She examines two types of constitutional solutions to the ‘democracy deficits’ of the EU: on the one hand, measures enhancing the direct impact of democratic legislatures on the policy-process at EU level; on the other hand, measures increasing accountability (rather than direct input), in the tradition of liberal constitutionalism. The analysis leads to the conclusion that, while the first group of measures tends to enhance democracy at the expense of policy efficiency, the second type of measures help solve the democratic deficit while also increasing policy efficiency. Overall, the author asserts that, as the proposed constitutional treaty contains solid measures of the second type, it should be supported by both center-left and center-right constituencies.

The Mobilisation of the European Left in the Early 21st Century

European Journal of Sociology
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Volume: 45; Issue: 2; Pages: 273-306; Published: Aug 2004

This study discerns peculiarities in the electoral mobilisation in EU member states in recent years and examines the effect of current social transformations on political discourse and voting behaviour. The overall change is traced to the emergence of new vectors of political identification, challenging the capital-vs-labour dynamics of conflict that had dominated the 20th century's electoral landscape. The paper argues that the electoral misfortunes of the European Left since the 1990s is part of a larger and more stable transformation in which the left-right alignment along economic policies is being replaced by the emergence of a new fault-line shaped by the opportunity-risk dilemma of the neo-liberal global knowledge economy. The decline in electoral support for traditional Left parties is attributed to the failure of the European Left to adjust to this realignment.

Europe’s Novel Political Cultures in the Early Twenty-first Century

Contemporary Politics
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Volume: 10; Issue: 2; Pages: 111-125; Published: 1 Jul, 2004

In the course of national elections held in EU member states in the past five years (since the elections for the European Parliament in 1999), a shift in governments' composition, political style and public sensitivities denotes the emergence of novel political cultures in Europe. By way of articulating similarities in the electoral dynamics in EU member-states at the turn of the new century, this study discerns the signs of this transformation in European political cultures. As a result of this change, the left-right alignment along economic policies is being obliterated by a new fault-line: one that is dictated by the security- risk dilemma of the 'new economy'.

Curbing the Deficit: Democracy After the European Constitution

Volume: 8; Issue: 1; Pages: 7-49; Published: 2004

This study assesses the democratic potential of the draft Constitutional Treaty for Europe. It reviews the various sources of the democratic deficit in the European Union and examines the effect of some of the provisions of the draft Constitutional Treaty on the quality of democracy at national and supranational level. The institutional strategies contained in the Treaty collide to create a policy dilemma: increasing democratic input or enhancing political accountability. It is argued that embracing the path of accountability, rather than that of democratic input, as a reform formula, would allow us to solve the EU democratic deficit without undermining the Union's institutional efficiency, and without jeopardising the formation of a European political community. This line of institutional development is in tune with the post-sovereign and post-national nature of power relations on the continent in the early twenty-first century.

Bulgaria’s Prospects for EU Membership

East European Constitutional Review
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Volume: 5; Issue: 4; Published: Jan 2001

Dictatorships of Freedom

Praxis International
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Volume: 12; Issue: 2; Pages: 145-157; Published: Jul 1992

The article was written during my participation in the dissident movements in Bulgarian in 1988-1990 and discusses the premature failure of the attempts at genuine democratisation in Eastern Europe.

The Legitimacy of Communism?

Sociological Problems
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Volume: 4; Published: 1991