Sociology seminar: The Politics of Conceptualising Local Development

Sociology seminar: The Politics of Conceptualising Local Development

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON YOUTH, COMMUNITY, AND URBAN REGENERATION SEMINAR SERIES
 
Week 12, Room F1030 at 1pm
Wednesday 18th April: Power and Populism: The Politics of Conceptualising Local Development.
Dr Tony Varley
 
For a number of years I’ve been using some of the literature on ‘populism’ as the basis of an approach for studying local development. Three distinguishable strands of populism – what can be termed the ‘small man’, the ‘communitarian’ and the ‘representational’ – have been particularly relied on. Each one of these strands has the advantage of highlighting elements of power associated with notions of structural domination and subaltern agency. However, increasingly over the past decade, the usefulness of populism as a descriptive term has been effectively undermined as ‘populism’ and ‘populist’ have become terms of abuse not alone in party politics but in everyday life. What is worth salvaging from the relevant literature on populism for purposes of conceptualising local development will be explored in the talk.
 
Suggested reading: T. Varley, 2009. ‘Populism and the Politics of Community Survival in Ireland’, in J. McDonagh, T. Varley and S. Shortall, eds., A Living Countryside? The Politics of Sustainable Development in Rural Ireland. 2009, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 341-60.