Boaventura de Sousa Santos

Boaventura de Sousa Santos is Professor of Sociology at the School of Economics, University of Coimbra (Portugal), Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and Global Legal Scholar at the University of Warwick.

The Left and Catalonia

How a Left position regarding the Catalonia referendum on 1 Oct 2017 could present itself juridically and politically The Catalonia referendum this Sunday will become part of the history of Europe, possibly for the worst of reasons. I will not discuss here the substantive questions, which can be interpreted as being historical, territorial, respecting internal…

To Be Read in 2050: Reflecting on Utopia

One day, when we finally find we can describe the age we now live in, the greatest amazement of all will come from the realization that we lived it all with no sense of before and after, replacing causality with simultaneity, history with news, memory with silence, the future with the past, the problem with…

The Strange Lightness of History

The zones of sub-humanity are regions of non-being, where if you are not truly human you cannot claim to be treated as human, that is to say, to be a subject with human rights. Some people are just too small to be human, and maybe that has always been the case. But ever since Western…

The Podemos Wave

Podemos is is a new kind of party, a movement-party, or rather a party-movement; the end result of a learning process from the South that made it possible to creatively channel the outrage on the streets of Spain. Can a Podemos wave spread to other countries? The countries of Southern Europe are extremely diverse, both…

Brazil: The Price of Progress

With the election of President Dilma Roussef, Brazil sought to accelerate the pace in turning itself into a global power. Many of the initiatives in this direction came from beforehand, but they had a new impetus: the UN Conference on the Environment, Rio+20 in 2012, the World Cup in 2014, Olympic Games in 2016, the…

Democracy or Capitalism?

The relation between democracy and capital has always been a tense one, of even total contradiction. Capitalism only feels safe it is ruled by whoever owns capital or identifies with its needs, whereas democracy, on the contrary, is the rule of the majorities who have neither capital nor reasons to identify with the needs of…

Chávez and the Future of Chávismo

The most charismatic, democratic political leader in decades is dead. Whenever charisma plays a role in a democratic context, it establishes a particularly mobilizing political relationship between rulers and the ruled, as it adds to democratic legitimacy an identity of belonging and a sharing of goals that go way beyond political representation. Well used to…