Public Programs And Events

The Politics Department's New Authors Symposium

The Politics Department's New Authors Symposium

Orozco Room, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall
General Public 

Faculty from the Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research host a panel discussion about their recently published books. 

The books discussed will be Starve and Immolate: The Politics of Human Weapons by Banu Bargu in discussion with Benoit Challand and Selim Heper; Counting Species: Biodiversity in Global Environmental Politics by Rafi Youatt in discussion with Anne McNevin and Jan Dutkiewicz; The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win Acceptance by Deva Woodly in discussion with Erica Kohl-Arenas and Biko Koenig; and Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India by Sanjay Ruparelia in discussion with Andrew Arato and Alix Jansen.

Please join us for refreshments at 9 a.m. Panels will begin at 9:15 (Bargu), 10:45 (Youatt), 1:30 (Woodly), and 3:15 (Ruparelia). Deva Woodly will give closing remarks at 4:45, followed by a reception at 63 5th Avenue, Room 700 from 5:00-6:30. 

About the books:

Starve and Immolate: The Politics of Human Weapons (Columbia, 2014) tells the story of leftist political prisoners in Turkey who waged a deadly struggle against the introduction of high security prisons by forging their lives into weapons. Weaving together contemporary and critical political theory with political ethnography, Banu Bargu analyzes the death fast struggle as an exemplary though not exceptional instance of self-destructive practices that are a consequence of, retort to, and refusal of the increasingly biopolitical forms of sovereign power deployed around the globe.

Counting Species: Biodiversity in Global Environmental Politics (University of Minnesota, 2015) is rooted in the observation that three decades of biodiversity governance have largely failed to stop the ongoing crisis of global species loss. Yet that governance has resulted in undeniably important political outcomes. Rafi Youatt argues that the ascendant understanding of global biodiversity has produced a distinct vision and politics of nature, one that is bound up with ideas about species, norms of efficiency, and apolitical forms of technical management.

The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win Acceptance (Oxford, 2015) comparing the cases of the living wage and marriage equality movements between 1994 and 2004, Deva Woodly argues that grassroots political challengers who do not already have a place of legitimated influence in the polity must use mainstream democratic discourse as not only an entrée into public discussion, but also as a resource that can be deliberately used to change mainstream political discourse, and thus, the public understanding of new political issues. This phenomenon, which she calls political acceptance, does more than raise awareness about new issues or change people’s minds about policy positions, instead the most profound impact of political acceptance is that it changes the contours of politics itself.

Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India (Oxford, 2015) investigates the rise and fall of the broader parliamentary left in modern Indian democracy, and the dynamics of national coalition governments. Since the 1970s, socialist, communist and regional parties in India have sought to forge a progressive 'third force'. Most scholars typically dismiss its principal manifestations -- the Janata Party, National Front and United Front -- as inherently opportunistic coalitions of power-seeking politicians. Sanjay Ruparelia provides a fine-grained analytic narrative to challenge this prevailing wisdom. Employing a variety of methods and resources, including the rare confidential testimonies of key political actors, Ruparelia demonstrates how the politics of each governing coalition, despite their self-evident flaws, revealed the outlines of a distinctive national vision. 

Sponsored by the Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research.



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