Keynote Talks

Harvard University

Wednesday 02 november.
09:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Room Aula Magna.

Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel

Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel illuminates what kinds of stigmatizing or discriminatory incidents individuals encounter in each country, how they respond to these occurrences, and what they view as the best strategy—whether individually, collectively, through confrontation, or through self-improvement—for dealing with such events. This deeply collaborative and integrated comparative study draws on more than four hundred in-depth interviews with middle- and working-class men and women residing in and around multiethnic cities—New York City, Rio de Janeiro, and Tel Aviv—to compare the discriminatory experiences of African-Americans, black Brazilians, and Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as Israeli Ethiopian Jews and Mizrahi (Sephardic) Jews. Our detailed analysis reveals significant differences in narratives about behavior. We account for these patterns by the extent to which each group is actually a group, the socio-historical context of intergroup conflict, and the national ideologies, neo-liberal repertoires, and other narratives that group members rely on. We also consider similarities and differences between the middle class and the working class, as well as between men and women, and older and younger interviewees, to capture the extent to which racial identity overshadows the daily experiences of stigmatized groups across contexts. Our hope is that our book will be viewed as making a contribution to the study of everyday racism and stigma management, the quest for recognition, and the comparative study of inequality and processes of cultural change.

See a chapter of the book online.
MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Friday 04 november
09:15 AM- 10:15 AM
Room Aula Magna.

Easy and Hard Redistribution: The Political Economy of Welfare States in Latin America

Comparative research on Latin American welfare states recently has focused on the extension of noncontributory benefits to those outside the formal labor market. Scholars rightly have seen this extension of benefits as a major break from past exclusionary welfare regimes. Yet other scholars have noted substantial areas of continuity, especially in the contributory social-insurance system that absorbs most of the budget. In this article, we develop a framework for studying changes in Latin American welfare states that reconciles these competing accounts. Drawing on an analogy with work of import-substituting industrialization, we argue that Latin American governments enjoyed an “easy” stage of welfare expansions in the 2000s, characterized by distinct political coalitions. Bottom-targeted benefits could be layered on top of existing programs and provided to wide segments of the population, sustaining broad coalitions from the bottom to the top of the income distribution. But many Latin American governments are nearing the exhaustion of this social policy model. We explore several types of policy and coalitional challenges that hinder moves to “deepen” welfare states with case studies of unemployment insurance in Chile and housing in Colombia.
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Friday 04 november
14:25 PM - 15:25 PM
Room Aula Magna.

Social class in the 21st century

This paper will argue that social class divisions are taking on increasing force in many parts of the globe, though in ways which are very different from the old politics of class which focused on the differentiation between wage earning manual working classes on the one hand, and salaried white collar workers on the other. My paper reflects on how intensifying economic inequalities and the growing social and cultural exclusiveness of elite networks are generating a powerful populist and anti-elite politics which is powerfully allied to revived nationalist projects. This mode of class politics, I argue, marks the breakdown of older institutional forms of management where political elites were more able to control the agenda. I use the British case of ‘Brexit’ and the European Union referendum as a case study of this wider argument.
Max Planck Institute

Thursday 03 november
09:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Room Aula Magna.

Recomposing Urban Collective Life: on operations and the inoperable/

How do lives reach each other, what do they want or need from all the different instantiations of living? How much do particular enactments of living really need to engage all those others taking place in the larger surrounds; how much do they simply need to know that specific ways of doing things are there, somewhere, without necessarily needing to interact with them? When interaction is necessary, how much has to be conceded and recalibrated? In cities where thousands upon thousands of things are going on simultaneously at any given time, how do particular lives know what it is exactly that is relevant to them, that poses serious implications for who they think they are or what they want to be? How far can inhabitants trace the impact of their own actions, and how far and to whom should any ethical obligations extend, and in what form?
These are questions that are critical to the efforts undertaken by people residing in districts they largely constructed by themselves so as to now deal with dispossession and the disentanglement of long-honed collective operations. How do residents of the residual urban cores of Jakarta, and many other cities of the Southern latitudes deal with the conundrums involved in attempts to update these operations in the midst of multiple forms of urban intervention, some of which are replete with opacities of uncertain potential and effect? Even if the more opaque interventions seem inoperable, never concretely realized, they nevertheless generate unanticipated impacts and frictions. Even the massive volume of projects and infrastructure that is realized sometimes ends up instigating futures far from that which was promised. The presentation considers what might be taking place at the tension-filled, disruptive interfaces between varying logics and forces of spatial transformation and updated operations of autogestion.