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CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Leonardo Fiorespino

Leonardo Fiorespino completed his Ph.D. in political philosophy at University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2021. He is author of Radical Democracy and Populism: A Thin Red Line? (Springer, 2022), and editor of two books published with UniversItalia. He currently teaches ethics at the University of New York in Prague (UNYP). His research focuses on contemporary democratic theory, populism, normativity in political philosophy.

 

Radical Democracy and Populism: A Thin Red Line?

On Thursday, June 9th at 12 am (CET), we will host the CAS SEE Seminar with Leonardo Fiorespino, presented by our Fellow Valerio Fabbrizi.

In my contribution, I will attempt to outline the main arguments of my recently published book, which addresses the controversial relationship of populism and democracy. More specifically, the aim of the book is to trace the line, if any, dividing populism and ‘radical’ democratic theories, given their shared commitment to popular sovereignty and bottom-up politics. While populism is often said to intertwine with democracy in some way, my contention is that it significantly departs from democratic theory and practice, and belongs to a distinct conceptual space. It cannot be made to overlap, for instance, with “illiberal democracy”, the “democratic myth”, a crude electoral majoritarianism, nor it amounts to hiding undemocratic policies into properly democratic justifications.

Those positions, frequent as they are in the literature, are contested based of the dividing line identified in the book. This line does not seem so ‘thin’ after all. I argue that it starts unfolding at the level of the conceptions of ‘the people’ presupposed by populists and democrats: whereas democratic theory invariably assumes a people intended as simultaneously plural and united, populism conceives of the people as a moral whole, internally undifferentiated, whose homogeneity and intrinsic righteousness preclude the task of specifying what popular sovereignty ultimately means.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86477855873?pwd=NHhiV3FQeTRwb0Z5SE9aT1FWTG5kZz09 

Meeting ID: 864 7785 5873

Passcode: 354722

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