Anticipating Democratic Alternatives. The Demise of Futurity and the Future of Critique

Conference at the University of Vienna

A widespread sense has evolved in the West that the only promise the future holds is one of worsening living conditions. Together with the loss of a sense of futurity, there appears to be a loss of concrete political alternatives. This demise of futurity is of utmost relevance for political theorists, as it has potentially devastating effects on the scope and status of political practice as well as critique. The central aim of this conference is to pose the question of how to recover a sense of futurity in critical thinking and the possibility of democratic alternatives. How can we rethink critique as an array of imaginative practices of freedom that disclose new ways of living and acting politically? And, can we gain a sense of how critique as “a possibility-disclosing practice” (Kompridis) can be revitalized in an anticipatory way through forms of prefiguration and pre-enactment? 

Organized by Oliver Marchart (University of Vienna) & Linda Zerilli (University of Chicago), hosted by Political Theory Division, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna & International Faculty Grants Programme University of Chicago.

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