Monday 29 October 2018, 18:30 - 20:00

Democracy and the Stranger: Does Global Integration Undermine Democracy?

Jeremy Adelman

Henry Charles Lea Professor of History and Director of the Global History Lab at Princeton University

Auditorium Ivan Pictet A1 B
Maison de la paix, Geneva

Nowadays, we are often presented with a stark option: we must choose between globalism or democracy. This is a staple of both Right and Left criticisms of contemporary capitalism. But is it so really either-or? Reflecting on the life and passions of Albert O. Hirschman, this presentation will consider the ways he imagined how voices from the margins could inform democratic and capitalist life. Estranged and exiled several times over, Hirschman was committed to “marginal” ways of thinking about “core” theories of democracy and development. This presentation will spotlight three moments of his thinking, the mid-1930s in his fight against fascism, in the late 1950s in his struggles against economic orthodoxy about development, and in the 1970s as he collaborated with heterodox social scientists in Latin America to envision a just, democratic future at a global scale.

Jeremy Adelman is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History and Director of the Global History Lab at Princeton University. His work reflects his deep interest in narratives about and explanations of processes that transcend familiar national or local boundaries. One of his most recent books, Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman (2013), Albert Hirschman's gripping biography, is a chronicle of one of the twentieth century’s most original thinkers. Currently, he is working on two books: Latin America: A Global History tells the story of what we now call Latin America as an on-going regional site for worldmaking and integration from 1492 to our days. In Earth Hunger (forthcoming) he studies how writers and artists, diplomats and ecologists, have been wrestling with the meaning of global inter-dependence and attitudes to strangers from the 1850s to the present.

Keynote lecture of the Albert Hirschman Centre’s annual conference on Reimagining democracy from and at the margins (29-30 October)


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