What is to be done? The possibilities of left politics in post-Trump, post-Coronavirus USA

In Kooperation mit der Atlantischen Akademie Rheinland-Pfalz, laden wir herzlich zur ersten virtuellen Landau Peace Lecture am 29. Juni 2020 mit Prof. Susan Kang ein. Kang ist Politikwissenschaftlerin und ist in führenden Positionen im New Yorker Chapter der Demokratischen Sozialisten Amerikas aktiv.

Die Veranstaltung wird über Click Meeting (Webinar) stattfinden. Vortragssprache ist Englisch. Im Anschluss an den Vortrag wird es eine Fragerunde geben. Es besteht die Möglichkeit, dass Fragen auf Deutsch von unserem Moderator*innen Team übersetzt werden können. Weitere Infos zur Anmeldung und zur Teilnahme finden Sie hier.

Abstract

Since the election of president Donald Trump in 2016, political scientists and commentators alike have noted the rise of the new political activist - a newly energized Democratic activist that largely operates outside of existing Democratic party structures to influence federal, state and local politics. While many of these organizations are associated with “suburban middle class, non-ideological women' as observed by political scientist Theda Skocpol, I argue that there has been a surge in more ideological, explicitly left socialist political activism since the Trump election, namely through growing organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America (which grew from 5000 to 60,000 members between 2016 and 2020) and similar explicitly left progressive political groups. While these left groups sometimes work in coalition with the “Indivisible” and “Resistance” types groups, other times, such as the recent Democratic presidential primary, these groups have been at odds with each other. In many ways, the recent Democratic primary, which closed as the COVID-19 crisis emerged in the United States, reflects a fracturing and failure of the new political actors to unite against a non-conventional Democratic nominee. Yet the great irony remains that Americans plunged into its mass suffering under the pandemic at the moment when Bernie Sanders, the candidate whose policies had the most popular support and would have best alleviated the suffering, lost his lead as Democratic party leadership coalesced around.

In this talk, I will discuss how my experiences in the New York City Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest chapter of the DSA, demonstrates the possibilities and current shortcomings of creating a broad coalition of support for explicitly left, redistributive politics in the United States, through the use of issue campaigns, electoral efforts, and coalition building. I discuss how a number of conditions, including the role of existing Democratic Party institutions and 'business as usual' political practices between incumbent elected officials and local leadership create challenges and possibilities for DSA activists. The NYC DSA has gained notoriety for its role in stopping the public subsidies for Amazon, influencing debates around public utilities, providing support for broader criminal justice reform, and key electoral victories.

 

About the speaker

susan-kang

Photo credit: John Jay College

Susan Kang is an associate professor of political science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  She received her PhD at the University of Minnesota in political science. Her research and teaching interests include human rights, especially economic and social rights, international law, and the global political economy.  She focusses on the intersection of international political economy, international human rights, economic and social rights, labor unions and social movements. Her book, “Human Rights and Labor Solidarity: Trade Unions and the Global Economy” was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012.  In addition to peer reviewed articles, an edited volume, and several book chapters, Prof. Kang has also become active in state and local politics in New York City since 2017, serving in leadership positions in the NYC chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and co-founding a state politics focused organization, NoIDCNY.  Prof. Kang was named to the City and State 2018 Power Watch List and appears regularly on NYC based media outlets discussing progressive politics, democratic primaries, and state politics.

Wann 29.06.2020
von 06:00 bis 08:00
Wo Webinar
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Termin übernehmen vCal
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