Writer & Translator; Local Affiliate & Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
May 8, 2019
12:15pm - 1:45pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
The past century was dominated by Gustave Le Bon’s belief that “men in crowds cannot do without a master”. Everybody was convinced of the so-called “necessity of leaders,” supported by managers, officials, politicians, and religious and educational personnel. Communism shared the same principle. The movements of the 2010s, from Tunisia to the “gilets jaunes”, have initiated a long process of renewal of democratic legitimacy around the world. The fundamental trait these movements share is leaderlessness. They often rely on a large number of horizontal, equalitarian, and collaborative forms of collective action. The social sciences thus face an ordeal that threatens their very foundations.