• Tue 18 – Wed 19 04 2017 •
The Extreme Centre – On the Future of Politics in Populist Times

Moderated by MARGARITA TSOMOU (18.4.) and GEORG RESTLE (19.4.)

Politics today are undergoing a tectonic global shift. The constant ping-pong between center left and center right characterizing the epoch of neoliberalism is over. If, after the Second World War, with the creation of the “welfare state,” capitalism was still constraining xenophobia and nationalism, it is obvious that today capitalism doesn’t need democracy anymore. Policies until recently advocated only by the ultra-right are now implemented by a political establishment formerly sworn to moderation. The former political categories of left and right are completely unreliable, and the center itself has become extreme, to paraphrase the title of a recent book by Tariq Ali. What do these processes mean to politics, to society, and to culture? Is there any way to recoup notions of left and right after a radicalized centrism has eliminated the very notion of politics? Social theorists, philosophers, and activists join for a two-day conference to discuss the hegemony of the “Extreme Centre” as it has emerged over recent years. They examine the reasons for the collapse or implosion of political cultures both in Europe and beyond, and ask what that might mean for the future of politics.

TUE 18 4 2017/ 17:30

Ágnes Heller, Srećko Horvat, Saskia Sassen, Margarita Tsomou

WED 19 4 2017 / 18:00

Tariq Ali, Teresa Forcades i Vila, Andreas Speit, Georg Restle

For the first time, in conjunction with The Extreme Centre, the Academy has invited 25 students from around Europe to attend the symposium and participate in an intensive two-day workshop in Cologne. The workshop is tutored by MORITZ VON STETTEN, research associate at the Chair for Cultural Sociology at the University Bonn. Project manager is NINA PASZKOWSKI.

Venue: Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz, Aachener Str. 5, 50674 Cologne
8 € day ticket / 5 € reduced / 4 € reduced for groups of 10 persons or more

In English with German translation