From the Yellow vests to Occupy Wall Street, from the Five Star Movement to the Pirate Parties, from Arab Spring to Brexit. Diverse groups of people express their dissatisfaction with society and politics in many ways. What is the root of this dissatisfaction? Is current democracy, or the establishment, still able to represent its electorate? Can these Grassroots movements really make a change? Or are they doomed to an isolated role on the outskirt of the political landscape?
In the past decade the political system has been a constant source of debate, frustration and conflict. In a world that has become bigger and more complex, while at the same time like-minded people are just one click away, common ground and identity are not easily found. People are no longer accepting politics and are actively in search for a new form of representation and leadership. Are these movements only based on gut feelings and sentiment? Or is this a simplified disqualification of a widespread unrest? Can the digital world bring democratic revival? Will distrust become institutionalized? And what kind of political leader will be able to constructively lead the way?
In this program sociologist Paolo Gerbaudo, philosopher Marli Huijer and media & communication researcher Delia Dumitrica, will speak on grassroots movements in general, the yellow vests in particular and the challenges we face in our changing societies. The event will be moderated by political philosopher Gijs van Oenen.
Paolo Gerbaudo is senior lecturer in Digital Culture and Society, his research focuses on social media in contemporary activism and alternative political communications. His first book Tweets and the Streets: (Pluto Press, 2012) critically assessed the impact of social media on the wave of movements of 2011 from the Arab Spring to the Spanish 'indignados'. His recent book The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy (Pluto Press, 2018) addresses the revolution that is transforming political parties in the time of social media.
Marli Huijer is professor of public philosophy at Erasmus School of Philosophy. From 2015 to 2017, she was Thinker Laureate of the Netherlands. Her research focuses on the public role of philosophy, philosophy of science and technology and gender.
Delia Dumitrica is assistant professor in Political Communication at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. In her research, she focuses on civic engagement through social media and the intersection between communication technology, nationalism and globalization.
Gijs van Oenen is associate professor in political and social philosophy at Erasmus School of Philosophy. His research focuses on political theory, rule of law, citizenship and democracy.