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Dylan Riley “What Next? The End of Democratic Capitalism and the Tasks of the Left”

Liberals and progressives in the US and elsewhere often speak of defending or restoring liberal democracy. This implies that democracy can be sustained through a series of policy choices, and ignores the problem of the fraught relationship between democracy and capitalism. A historical look at capitalism and democracy, however, shows that the two have been compatible with one another only at certain moments, primarily during the long boom of the post 1945 period in the rich world. This configuration is now coming to an end due to deep structural transformations in the nature of capitalism in which political mechanisms are becoming increasingly decisive in determining the rate of return. The democratic politics of the left must be articulated in relation to these profound changes in the structure of capitalism.

bio

Dylan Riley is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe: Italy, Spain, and Romania 1870-1945 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010, Verso, 2019) and Microverses: Observations from a Shattered Present (Verso, 2022), as well as co-author with Rebecca Jean Emigh and Patricia Ahmed of Antecedents of Censuses: From Medieval to Nation States and Changes in Censuses: From Imperialism to Welfare States (Palgrave 2016). In addition to these books, he has published articles in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Catalyst, Comparative Sociology, Contemporary Sociology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Social Science History, The Socio-Economic Review and the New Left Review (of which he is a member of the editorial committee). His work has been translated into German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

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bio

Dylan Riley is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe: Italy, Spain, and Romania 1870-1945 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010, Verso, 2019) and Microverses: Observations from a Shattered Present (Verso, 2022), as well as co-author with Rebecca Jean Emigh and Patricia Ahmed of Antecedents of Censuses: From Medieval to Nation States and Changes in Censuses: From Imperialism to Welfare States (Palgrave 2016). In addition to these books, he has published articles in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Catalyst, Comparative Sociology, Contemporary Sociology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Social Science History, The Socio-Economic Review and the New Left Review (of which he is a member of the editorial committee). His work has been translated into German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

seminar video

Play Video

seminar video

Dylan-Riley-Cover1

seminar

Dylan Riley “What Next? The End of Democratic Capitalism and the Tasks of the Left”

Liberals and progressives in the US and elsewhere often speak of defending or restoring liberal democracy. This implies that democracy can be sustained through a series of policy choices, and ignores the problem of the fraught relationship between democracy and capitalism. A historical look at capitalism and democracy, however, shows that the two have been compatible with one another only at certain moments, primarily during the long boom of the post 1945 period in the rich world. This configuration is now coming to an end due to deep structural transformations in the nature of capitalism in which political mechanisms are becoming increasingly decisive in determining the rate of return. The democratic politics of the left must be articulated in relation to these profound changes in the structure of capitalism.

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