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Past Critical Theory in Critical Times Workshops

critical theory in critical times workshop

Spring 2022 Workshop: Me the People: A Discussion on Populism with Nadia Urbinati

Friday, April 1, 2022
3:30pm - 6:30pm CST
Location: Harris Hall-108, Northwestern University, 1881 Sheridan Rd., Evanston IL

The 2022 Critical Theory in Critical Times annual series workshop will focus around the work of Nadia Urbinati (Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory at Columbia University) and, in particular, her newest book Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy (Harvard University Press). Nadia Urbinati will discuss this work with four commentators: Dilip Gaonkar (Northwestern University), William T. S. Mazzarella (University of Chicago), Axel Mueller (Northwestern University), and Paulina Ochoa Espejo (Haverford College).


Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy

In Me the People, Urbinati argues that populism should be regarded as a new form of representative government, one based on a direct relationship between the leader and those the leader defines as the “good” or “right” people. Populist leaders claim to speak to and for the people without the need for intermediaries―in particular, political parties and independent media―whom they blame for betraying the interests of the ordinary many. Urbinati shows that, while populist governments remain importantly distinct from dictatorial or fascist regimes, their dependence on the will of the leader, along with their willingness to exclude the interests of those deemed outside the bounds of the “good” or “right” people, stretches constitutional democracy to its limits and opens a pathway to authoritarianism. Weaving together theoretical analysis, the history of political thought, and current affairs, Urbinati presents an original and illuminating account of populism and its relation to democracy.

Spring 2022 Critical Theory in Critical Times Program


Summer 2021 Workshop with Christoph Menke, Critique of Rights


2020-2021 virtual Workshop: Critique of Latin American Reason by Santiago Castro-Gómez


2019-2020 CTCT Workshop: The White Leviathan: Nonwhite Bodies in the White Body Politic | A Conversation with Charles Mills

Poster | Program

2018-2019 CTCT Workshop: EXILE, STATELESSNESS, MIGRATION | A Discussion with Seyla Benhabib

Poster | Program


2016-2017 CTCT Workshop: A Discussion with Axel Honneth on Freedom's Right


2015-16 CTCT Workshop: Undoing the Demos. A Discussion with Wendy Brown


2014-15 CTCT Workshop: Critical Theory of Legal Revolutions. A Discussion with Hauke Brunkhorst

Poster | Program

May 2014: Inaugural Critical Theory in Critical Times Workshop: Keynote Address by Jürgen Habermas

Poster | Program

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