Links and Such

1. Stuart Elden discusses the reception of authors based upon their order of translation—he mentions Heidegger, Foucault, and Lefebvre, and the latter was truly badly served in this way. In fact, his reception is analogous to Sloterdijk’s: mentions by other top authors and limited release of smaller works.

2. Muammar el-Gaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam Alqadhafi, isn’t just the star of his own baffling TV show: as most of you now know, he earned a Ph.D in Political Theory at the LSE in 2008. Here’s the link to his thesis “THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE DEMOCRATISATION OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE INSTITUTIONS: From ‘Soft Power’ to Collective Decision-Making?” The subtitle is particularly biting right now. Here’s the abstract:

This dissertation analyses the problem of how to create more just and democratic global
governing institutions, exploring the approach of a more formal system of collective
decision-making by the three main actors in global society: governments, civil society and
the business sector. The thesis seeks to make a contribution by presenting for discussion an
addition to the system of international governance that is morally justified and potentially
practicable, referred to as ‘Collective Management’. The thesis focuses on the role of civil
society, analysing arguments for and against a role for civil society that goes beyond ‘soft
power’ to inclusion as voting members in inter-governmental decision-making structures in
the United Nations (UN) system, the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) and other institutions.

The thesis defends the argument that inclusion of elected representatives of non-
governmental organisations (NGOs) in tripartite decision-making structures could
potentially create a more democratic global governing system. This conclusion is supported
by a specially-commissioned survey of leading figures in NGOs and IGO decision-making
structures. The argument is developed in a case study of the WTO.

The thesis explains and adopts three philosophical foundations in support of the argument.
The first is liberal individualism; the thesis argues that there are strong motivations for free
individuals to seek fair terms of cooperation within the necessary constraints of being
members of a global society. Drawing on the works of David Hume, John Rawls and Ned
McClennen, it elaborates significant self-interested and moral motives that prompt
individuals to seek cooperation on fair terms if they expect others to do so. Secondly, it
supports a theory of global justice, rejecting the limits of Rawls’s view of international
justice based on what he calls ‘peoples’ rather than persons. Thirdly, the thesis adopts and
applies David Held’s eight cosmopolitan principles to support the concept and specific
structures of ‘Collective Management’.

No word on the use of Rawls and Held for genocidal practices against one’s own people. (Note well: he’s arguing Rawls’ normative principles don’t go far enough!)

3. This Inside Higher Ed column asks if profs should steer any of their investments toward for-profit universities. For a lot of good reasons: no. (The writer suggests there might be for-profits that are not run like the U. of Phoenix—which cannot be true given the fact that it’s a stockholder driven, not student or research driven, enterprise.) But, if you are hedging your bets on whether your state will simply cause the transfer of all its students to private colleages, as is slowly happening here in CA, then at least your stocks will go up.

(that’s a joke: please don’t invest in these crooked enterprises…)

4.Robert Eaglestone reviews Rancière’s Politics of Literature in the THE:

Jacques Rancière is increasingly highly thought of by anglophone literary critics and theorists. He has a reputation as a radical thinker, both intellectually and politically: he was a collaborator of Louis Althusser and has written influentially on radical education, literature, social history and human rights. However, this collection of selected essays, which range from general papers to more focused works, from talks to an opera programme, does not give a good sense of either his intellectual range or his radicalism. It also looks oddly dated, and so rather belies his ascendant reputation.

5. Here’s a site for trying out your ability to speak with different accents.

6. Here’s the CFP for the Caribbean Philosophical Association:




September 28-30, 2011

Rutgers University, New Brunswick


*Plenary session commemorating 50 years of Frantz Fanon’s passing with Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, Lewis Gordon, Nigel Gibson, Drucilla Cornell, and others TBA

*Boaventura de Sousa Santos on the crisis of the university

*Panel on the crisis of the humanities with Walter D. Mignolo, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, and other participants TBA

*Plenary session awarding the 2011 Frantz Fanon and Nicolás Guillén Prizes:

2011 Frantz Fanon Award winners are: Susan Buck-Morss for Hegel, Haiti, and University History, and Marilyn Nissim-Sabat for Neither Victim nor Survivor: Thinking Toward a New Humanity (attendance confirmed).

2011 Nicolás Guillén Award winner: Junot Díaz (attendance confirmed).

As always, we invite submissions (papers, panels, roundtables) that explore race and racism, gender, colonization and decolonization, sexuality, imperialism, and migration, social and intellectual movements, and related areas, not only in the Caribbean, but globally. We accept proposals in English, French, and Spanish.

Call for papers and 2011 membership form to be released soon.

Presenters are expected to pay conference fees and membership to the association as well.

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