Left theory for the 21st century – ΙΙ

International Conference


Nicos Poulantzas Institute (NPI) organises the second conference of the research project ‘Left theory for the Twenty-First century’ funded by transform! europe Network and coordinated by Costas Douzinas, NPI’s President, and Michalis Bartsidis, NPI’s scientific director.


Watch the full videos of the conference at our YouTube Channel

The project aims to map out current philosophical, theoretical and political schools of thought and put them into debate. The conference will address two themes:

1. Thinking Left Governmentality: The SYRIZA experience 2015-2019

The first part of the conference aims to explore theoretically the experience of government and open the debate to our European friends. What can the European Left learn from the Greek experience? Conversely, how can left theory help improve aspects of strategy, planning and left governance?

2. Living in Dark Times

The second part will reflect on the dark side of our times, the negativity that radical political strategy must address, manage and transform. Negativity appears either as dialectical moment of passage or as the return of evil in biopolitical governance, the authoritarian turn of democracies, the economics of inequality. The pandemic, the lockdown and the state of exception, the politics of fear and the multiple violations of liberties and rights bring together neo-conservatism, neoliberalism and far-right populism (Trump, Bolsonaro, Orban, Brexit, Erdogan etc.) and posit a major challenge for the left and democracy.

Keynote speaker:

Jean-Luc Nancy


Effi Achtsioglou, Athena Athanasiou, Aristides Baltas, Michalis Bartsidis, Peter Bratsis, Costas Douzinas, Adam Gearey, Elias Georgantas, Paul Guillibert, Viky Iakovou, Maria Karamesini, Konstantinos Kavoulakos, Danai Koltsida, Gerasimos Kouzelis, Lois Labrianidis, Petros Linardos Rulmond, Todd McGowan, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Yioryos Stamboulis, Euclid Tsakalotos, Christoforos Vernardakis, Tania Vosniadou.


The conference is dedicated to the memory of Leo Panitch.



14 January 2021 – First Day

10:00 – 11:00: Session 1. Left theory construction after the SYRIZA government

11:15 – 12:15: Session 2.Left theory of economic restructuring and development

14:00 – 15:00: Session 3.State theory and public administration

15:15 – 16:15: Session 4. Left theory and inequalities

16:15 – 17:00: Discussion

15 January 2021 – Second Day

10:00 – 11:00: Session 1.Left thinking confronts the rise of the far right in the 21st century: Fear, hope and Security

11:15 – 12:15: Session 2. The pandemic and the global lockdown: Technologies,biopolitics, climate crisis

14:00 – 15:40: Session 3. Negativity in history and left politics: Separations, universals, utopias

15:45 – 16:15: Keynote speaker

16:15 – 16:45: Discussion with J-L- Nancy

16:45 – 17:15: Final Discussion


More info on the speakers and contributions here