Knowledge Production During Revolutionary Times: Reflections From, In, and On West Asia and North Africa

Roundtable Discussion | Friday October 29, 2021 | 17:00–19:30 | Hybrid (register for details)

Speakers: Nader Talebi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh (EUME Fellow of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation / IRGAC 2021-22), Oula Ramadan (Badael), Sana Tannoury-Karam (EUME Fellow 2020-22), Walid El Houri (OpenDemocracy / EUME Fellow 2013/14), Yasmeen Daher (Febrayer), Chair & Discussant: Jeffrey G. Karam (LAU / EUME Fellow of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation / IRGAC 2021-22)

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Florestan Fernandes: Explaining Authoritarianism Beyond the Fascist Experience

One of the main challenges for understanding the concept of authoritarianism is the many different meanings it has. Already in the 1970s, Brazilian sociologist and political militant Florestan Fernandes analysed the ambiguity of the concept of authoritarianism and its use in political mainstream discourse. He assessed that if we explain authoritarianism only through the liberal lens – as being in opposition to “democracy” -, we ignore the inherent authoritarian tendencies of liberal democracy and its everyday abuse of power. Florestan proposed a different understanding instead.

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How to Achieve Transnational Solidarity in the Age of Neoliberal Authoritarianism and Border Securitization?

In this essay, I want to address the complications stemming from the political economy of transnational solidarity networks and the power asymmetry in them, mainly through discussing the Turkish case. Neoliberal globalization and its political geography built upon colonial divisions have become the framework for cross-national solidarity as well as the recent authoritarian turn, while at the same time bringing in structural setbacks to the former. Furthermore, the recent migration “crises”, that are caused by imperialist interventions, have been met with heightened border securitization in the Global North, limiting the field for international human rights activism. This introduces a serious additional challenge to the conception and practice of transnational solidarity.

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