Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Problem with Plutocracy (2 Cambridge Talks, May 2013)

Announcing two public talks to be given in Cambridge by Dr. Henry Tam (Director, Forum for Youth Participation & Democracy, University of Cambridge) this May:

7 May, Tuesday
(7.30 pm – 9.15 pm)
Left with a Hard Choice: the contest of democracy v plutocracy
Cambridge Fabians & Anglia Ruskin GradSoc
Room 006, Ashcroft Building, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge

“In recent decades, plutocracy has become hegemonic in its dominance. Supporters of the left are repeatedly told that no one can win power without deferring to the deregulatory, small state, low tax, privatising agenda of the corporate advocates. Must democracy concede to plutocracy? Or can progressive changes be achieved through the development of a more radical, communitarian democracy? The key, as Henry Tam will explain, is to draw from the evidence of successful participatory engagement and build a reform movement with citizens to secure better outcomes for everyone, and not just the wealthy few.”

13 May, Monday
(1.30 pm – 3.30 pm)
Will this be the Plutocratic Century?
Cambridge CRASSH (Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities)
Alison Richard Building, Cambridge University, West Road, Cambridge

“The 20th century was meant to have witnessed the triumph of democracy against all odds. But the early 21st century is exhibiting many symptoms that citizens no longer have an equal say in how they are to be governed. As the plutocratic form of politics spreads its influence, all those concerned with this development may wish to join in the exploration of three questions.
First, what historical lessons can be drawn from shifts in power distribution in the past?
Secondly, on what theoretical and empirical basis can we argue for an alternative to current trends?
And finally, what new means should we experiment with to connect with disengaged citizens in any attempt to revive democracy?”

[If you’re interested in attending either of these talks, please confirm by emailing There is no charge for participants.]

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