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14 Jan - "The Confessional Politics of Democracy" Lecture by Andrea Teti, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

The visit of Andrea Teti is organised in collaboration with Francesca Biancani from the Department of Political and Social Sciences.

Jan 14, 2020 from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM

Where Sala Rossa, Palazzo Marchesini, via Marsala 26, Bologna (first floor)

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This lecture deploys a confessional analysis to tackle the (re)production of failing EU ‘democracy assistance’ policies towards the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Drawing on innovative Critical Discourse Analysis of EU documents on the one hand, and on public opinion survey data on the other, the lecture illustrates the profound mismatch between what Arab citizens want and what the EU is willing to give. The first half of the lecture sets out the empirical dimensions of these policies’ failure: it details the mismatch between the EU’s supply of policy in its Southern Neighbourhood and the demand for change by ordinary citizens in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The second half of the lecture provides a framework to interpret the politics of democracy –particularly its authoritarian and neoliberal restrictions– on both shores of the Mediterranean and its recurrent failures based on a generalised model of Foucault’s fragmentary remarks on avowal and confession. It will be shown that the way contemporary social science frames the questions of democracy, development and stability/security displays confessional properties, i.e. that the discursive framing of the shared emancipatory task of democratization, far from favouring that outcome, effectively undermines it, while simultaneously re-legitimising this frame itself by blaming the anti-democratic ‘Other’ for these failures.