15 December, 2014: Don Kalb (UU and CEU)

Title: Neo-nationalism and the return of class as trauma: East and West European Episodes.
15:30-17:00h, Room 1.A09, Pieter de la Court building.

About Don Kalb

Don Kalb is Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University, Budapest, and Senior Researcher in the Anthropology Department at Utrecht University. His research focuses on globalisation and the development of a distinct anthropological approach to class.

He is the founding editor of Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. His publications include Expanding Class: Power and Everyday Politics in Industrial Communities, The Netherlands, 1850-1950 (Duke University Press, 1998); (ed.) The Ends of Globalization. Bringing Society back in (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2000); (ed.) Globalization and Development: Key Issues and Debates (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004); and (ed.) Headlines of Nation, Subtexts of Class: Working Class Populism and the Return of the Repressed in Neoliberal Europe, (Berghahn, 2011).

Neo-nationalism: The result of neoliberalism and 'double polarisation'

Kalb’s work argues that neo-nationalism, in all its populist varieties, is both a consequence of and response to the neoliberalisation of societies, cultures and political economies. It is one of the outcomes of what Jonathan Friedman has called ‘double polarisation’, the alignment of social and cultural polarisations in the era of the globalisation of capital. The Netherlands and Hungary have been avant gardes in this general process, while the fragmentation and civil war in Ukraine since the Maidan protests are the most current and violent manifestation of the process.

The return of class perspective

The question is: To what extent can we explain these neonationalist populist outcomes and the consequent political fragmentations in Europe and beyond from a class perspective? The argument is that class processes explain culturalised processes of political populism. How do we need to think of class in such a perspective and what else do we need?

Research Seminars Fall 2014