They Can’t Represent Us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy

They Can't Represent Us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy


September 16, 2014    
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


CUNY Graduate Center, Skylight Room
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10016

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Marina Sitrin (Visiting Scholar, Center for Place Culture, and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center) and Dario Azzelini (Institute for Sociology, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria) present their new book.They_Can_t_Represent_Us__CMYK_-feb8d06e42a51e4bd7465184a678571a

Tuesday, September 16th
Room 5109
CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Ave. New York, NY 10016
*This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics.

They Can’t Represent Us! describes how the new global movements are putting forward a radical conception of democracy, often using the voices of the movement participants themselves. Mass movements in disparate places such as Greece, Spain, Argentina, and the United States ultimately share an agenda—to raise the question of what democracy should mean. These horizontalist movements, including Occupy, exercise and claim participatory democracy as the ground of revolutionary social change today.

Written by two international activist intellectuals and based on extensive interviews with movement participants in Spain, Greece, Venezuela, Argentina, across the United States, and elsewhere, this book is an expansive portrait of the assemblies, direct democracy forums, and organizational forms championed by the new movements, as well as an analytical history of direct and participatory democracy from ancient Athens to Zuccotti Park. The new movements put forward the idea that liberal democracy is not democratic, nor was it ever.

sitrin__marina_for_web-e246032b3d21ffd30d7cbabee4c24ddcMarina Sitrin is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Place Culture and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She holds a PhD in Global Sociology and JD in International Women’s Human Rights. She is the author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina (AK Press, 2006) Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina (Zed Books: 2012). Her work focuses on social movements and justice, specifically looking at new forms of social organization, such as autogestión, horizontalidad, prefigurative politics and new affective social relationships. She bases much of her work in experiences in Latin America, and has lived in Argentina and Cuba. Her current research encompasses the new global movements, including those in Greece, Spain, Turkey, Brazil and Occupy in the US. She is currently writing a book on the meaning of social movements, challenging the framework used by contemporary social scientists so as to encompass the experiences and theories of current societies in movement. Marina’s writing has been published in: Dissent!; The International Journal of Comparative Sociology; NACLA; The Nation; Open Democracy; Tidal; Prensa Latina; The South Atlantic Quarterly; Upping the Anti; The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest; Yes! Magazine and Znet among others.

azzellini__dario_for_web-c9e6ae11c5be0a980011d5c5eb0951b3Dario Azzelini is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Sociology at the Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria), a writer and documentary film director. He holds PhDs in political science and sociology. His research and writing focuses on social transformation, migration and racism, self administration, workers control and extensive case studies in Latin America. He serves as Associate Editor for WorkingUSA and for Cuadernos de Marte (University of Buenos Aires).
 He has published several books, essays and documentaries about social movements, privatization of military services, migration and racism, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia and Venezuela. Among them “Das Unternehmen Krieg” (Assoziation, A 2002), a book about privatization of military services, translated and published in Germany, Argentina, Bolivia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Spain and Venezuela. More information: He recently published together with Marina Sitrin “Occupying Language” (Occupied Media Pamphlet, 2012), “Partizipation, Arbeiterkontrolle und die Commune (VSA, 2010)”, the documentary “Comuna under construction” (2010) about local self government in Venezuela, and together with Immanuel Ness “Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present” (Haymarket, 2011). He served as Associate Editor for the The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest: 1500 to Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) and was primary editor for Latin America, the Spanish Caribbean, and the new left in Italy.


They Can’t Represent Us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy
Date: September 16, 2014
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Location: CUNY Graduate Center, Skylight Room
Address: 365 Fifth Avenue, New York 10016 (View Map)

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