Category: News & Politics

The global politics podcast at the end of the End of History. From a left perspective.

May 27, 2019

Excerpt: /73/ Eurosads ft. Anton Jäger & Catarina Príncipe

[For the full episode, please subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast]

On the European Parliamentary elections. Is this the day the 20th century truly died? Traditional social democratic and conservative parties took a pounding. The Greens surged. The populists didn't surge - but are now entrenched. And the radical and populist Left has not capitalised. What's the meaning behind what are often purely symbolic euro elections?

Readings:

[pieces by Anton & Catarina coming shortly]

May 2, 2019

/70/ In Defence of Universalism ft. Kenan Malik

On migration and identity. The question of migration and borders has become increasingly fraught across different societies. Why has immigration become the means through which grievance is expressed? Where has 'white' identity come from? And how durable is identity politics as a force?

Readings:

Looking Closer to Home, Kenan Malik on EU and migration 

The History and Politics of White Identity, Kenan Malik

 

Follow us on Facebook / Twitter. Sign up on Patreon: patreon.com/bungacast

 

March 22, 2019

#BungaLive: Europe after Brexit

#BungaLive. Debate on the future of Europe, held at Queen Mary, University of London on 21 March 2019. 

Europe After Brexit: Internationalism or Transnationalism?

Until now, most debates about Brexit have only considered the question from the viewpoint of Britain itself and the shambolic process overseen by the Tory government. However, Brexit raises issues that go beyond the UK – and beyond the nation-state. How should Brexit be considered from the global vantage point, and what are its implications for Europe as a whole? Should left wing parties and progressive movements seek to remain in and reform the European Union, or is exit the better option?

The path to internationalism always led through the nation-state, but European integration seems to open the prospect of transnational solidarity at the continental level, mediated by EU institutions. Does the EU provide the infrastructure for a better, progressive Europe that can be captured and reformed by the left? How viable is the EU as a long-term political project? And if it is not viable, should European lefts seek to exit EU institutions in each of their own countries? What might European solidarity look like in an EU that is cracking apart under the weight of its contradictions?

Speakers:
David Adler, writer and researcher; policy coordinator for European Spring. Based in Athens.
Catarina Príncipe, political activist; contributing editor, Jacobin. Based in Porto.
Lee Jones, reader in international politics, QMUL; co-founder, The Full Brexit. Based in London.

March 1, 2019

/64/ These Vests Don’t Yellow ft. Aurélie Dianara

On the Gilets Jaunes - again. They won’t go away. They won’t be subsumed by other forces or institutions and, after more than three months, they’re not exhausted yet. Have the Gilets Jaunes punctured France’s depression and drift? How has ‘respectable opinion’ demonised them - and is there anything to the anti-Semitism accusations? Now that they have linked up with trade unions, how far can they go? Macron is on thin ice and European elections are coming up. What next for the 5th Republic?

Readings:

A Season of Discontent, Aurelie Dianara, Jacobin

Forgotten France Rises Up, Le Monde Diplo

France’s Class War, Le Monde Diplo

Macron’s Selective Anti-Racism, Jacobin

------------

We are live in London on 21 March, to debate the future of Europe. Come join us: bungacast.eventbrite.com

Like us? We accept tips. Go to Patreon.com/BungaCast

Follow us @BungaCast on all social networks.

January 31, 2019

/60/ Party Time, Online ft. Paolo Gerbaudo

On the rise of the 'digital party'. If politics has become distant from the people, what if a new model of party, leveraging platform technology, could bring the people closer to power? Paolo Gerbaudo talks to us about the various parties and movements innovating new organisational forms - 5 Star Movement, Podemos, the Pirate Parties. They bring in new members and more participation, but what if they also enshrine charismatic leadership? The digital party seems a step forward from the hollowed-out neoliberal parties of the past decades, but do they also reflect some negative tendencies of the tech economy?

Plus: Italy's M5S/Lega coalition, the sovereignty question, and Italians' contradictory attitudes to the EU. 

Readings:

The Return of the Party, Paolo Gerbaudo, Jacobin

Ruling the Void, Peter Mair, NLR

Senso Comune organisation, Italy

The Experiment Interview on 5 Star Movement, Jacobin

 

Chip in some change. Help us grow. Go to: patreon.com/bungacast

 

December 20, 2018

/56/ Popular Not Populist ft. Anton Jaeger

The big 2018 populism discussion. We trash mainstream interpretations of populism (hiya, Cas Mudde) and debate the merits and demerits of 'left populism'. Thatcher, Clinton and Blair are today thought of as anti-populists, but what if they demonstrate many populist features? Is our future 'technopopulism'? And is the 'movement of movements' a dead end? 

Plus plenty of bonus stuff: debating the 20th Century disaster; Hillary as the tragic figure of our age; and José Mourinho as right-wing populist. 

Readings:

Anton's articles at Jacobin

Thea Riofrancos on Chantal Mouffe in n+1

Chris Bickerton on technopopulism

Cas Mudde on populism

The Guardian's stupid populism quiz

Phil Cunliffe on the 20th Century (Lenin Lives!)

December 6, 2018

/55/ High-Visibility Revolt ft. Aurélie Dianara

The 'gilets jaunes' protests have shocked France, expressing a profound exasperation and anger that goes much deeper than frustration at a fuel tax. This is clearly a movement from below, of the people. But it is leaderless and thus far rejects affiliation with political parties. How far can it go? Is Macron's government at risk? This isn't the 'start-up nation' he dreamed of...

Readings:

We're With The Rebels, by Aurélie Dianara (Jacobin)

November 19, 2018

/53/ Brexit’s Hotel California

Theresa May's Brexit deal seems to have satisfied no one. Britain doesn't properly leave, nor does it stay, it just becomes a passive rule-taker. What are the prospects for the UK actually leaving? Will there be a second referendum? And does the difficulty in seeing through Brexit confirm that "there is no alternative"?

Readings:

The Full Brexit: for popular sovereignty, democracy and economic renewal 

Costas Lapavitsas: Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour vs. the Single Market

 

July 4, 2018

/42/ Erdogan Ever-Present? ft. Yasemin Yilmaz

In which we survey Turkey's election results in light of five years of tumult - Gezi, economic downturn, terrorist attacks, Syrian war, coup, repression. Are cracks beginning to show for Erdogan? He teamed up with ultranationalists, while opposition secularists and Islamists joined forces, but Erdogan held on. How demoralised are the Turkish people, and what are the prospects for the Left? We conclude by debating whether Erdogan represents a generalisable type of political leader today: initally moderate and neoliberal, but tacking increasingly authoritarian and socially conservative.

May 31, 2018

/38/ The Economics of Exit ft. Thomas Fazi

In which we discuss why the Left should not to be scared of sovereignty: Brexit, Italexit, and Modern Monetary Theory