Accepted paper:

The politics of contestation: multitude against empire?

Author:

José Manuel Pureza (University of Coimbra)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims at analyzing the counter-hegemonic agendas produced by the multitude as a new political subject in the Northern African countries which have been at the forefront of the so-called Arab Spring.

Paper long abstract:

The concepts of empire and multitude developed by Toni Negri and Michael Hardt are not often used as analytical tools in mainstream IR. And yet both the struggles for democracy in different Arab countries and the emergence of new social movements against the narrowing of the democratic space in Europe may soon introduce some important changes in the dominant discourse concerning political subjectivity and political action in the contemporary world system, bringing those two concepts to the core of the IR scholarly debate. At the heart of these alternative discourses and practices lies a radical critique of the hegemony of liberal standards of good governance which define the empire-in-denial (Chandler) or the nébuleuse (Cox). This paper aims at analyzing the counter-hegemonic agendas produced by the multitude as a new political subject in the Northern African countries which have been at the forefront of the so-called Arab Spring.

panel P092
Contestation and political change: exploring patterns across borders and regions