January 16, 2024

Democracy and Empire–Inés Valdez in Dialogue with CRITIQUE & RACE.ED–14 May 2024

Democracy and Empire: Labor, Nature, and the Reproduction of Capitalism (Cambridge UP) theorizes the material bases of popular sovereignty via the Black radical tradition. Popular sovereignty contains an affective attachment to wealth, secured through collective agreements to dominate others, that is, self-and-other-determination. Inés Valdez (Johns Hopkins) expands on racial capitalism by theorizing its Anglo-European-based popular politics, which authorize capital accumulation enabled by empire and legitimated by racial ideologies. Such accumulation stunts political projects in the Global South. Valdez masterfully outlines how racialized others who sacrifice families and communities provide social reproduction, and how political alienation from nature in wealthy polities is mediated by technology and enabled by a joint devaluation of nature and racialized manual labor. The book also theorizes anti-imperial popular sovereignty, also drawing on Indigenous political thought’s accounts of nature-encompassing political relations.

With Michael Albert and Emile Chabal

Date: Tuesday 14 May 2024

Time: 4.00pm-6.30pm

Room: Screening Room, 50 George Square