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Conferences & lectures

Robespierre's Ghost: Political Economy & Revolution

The Karl Polanyi Centre of Political Economy and the Department of Geography, Planning & Environment present a lecture by Geoff Mann

Date & time

Friday, October 28, 2016
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.


Geoff Mann, Professor of Geography and Director of the Centre for Global Political Economy, SFU


This event is free


Samuel Bronfman Building
1590 Docteur Penfield Room Atrium

Wheelchair accessible


The chorus of elites ringing societal alarm bells is in crescendo.

Modern liberal capitalism is exposing what has always been true: that it is shaped by the anxious memory of revolution, and thus by a consciousness of the potential, the menace — however isolated or consistently unrealized — of popular rejection of the existing order.

The immanent critique of liberalism’s failures, from Hegel to Keynes to Piketty, has developed in a house haunted by Robespierre.

A reexamination of the Jacobin's revolutionary moment of rupture has much to teach us about the very conditions of possibility of political economy.

For if political economy is the science of (the) liberal capitalist government — which it surely is — then it is the science of crisis, the knowledge of those confronting the unrelenting fact of poverty in the midst of their plenty.


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