Upcoming Conference: Conservatism and Reaction in Contemporary Politics

A conference organized by the Bard College Center for Civic Engagement, Gagarin Center of St. Petersburg State University and Harriman Institute, Columbia University

February 11th 9:00-4:00, Harriman Institute, 420 W 118th St. 

February 12th 2:30-8:00, SUNY Global Center, 116 E 55th St. 

Recent developments in electoral politics throughout the world tend to be associated with the victory of populism or the new right. These newly-popular politicians and parties (Trump, Putin, Front National, Basic Finns, Alternative for Germany, etc.) usually have a dominant ideology, even if it is eclectic and hybrid. The traditional name of this ideology is conservatism. It argues for exclusive and identitarian nationalism, a higher role for family and church, authoritarian structures of power, the need to defend against subversives – the rest is dependent on national tradition. Its more pejorative analogon, going back to the counter-revolutionary resistance to the French Revolution, is reactionism.

How did this ideology evolve in the late 20th-early 21st century? What are its main principles? What makes it attractive? What classes/groups does it represent?  How can one argue against it/for it? Is an ideological analysis still valid at all? These and other questions will be at the core of discussion with special focus on conservatism in contemporary Russia (where it has in fact become a ruling ideology).

The conference is free and open to the public, no registration is required. For more information email Bryan Billings bbilling@bard.edu.

Download the Conservatism and Reaction Conference Program

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